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lan Goodrum @isgoodrum
, 14 tweets, 6 min read Read on Twitter
As part of the Paris Agreement, China pledged to reach its CO2 emissions peak by 2030.

But according to a Nature Geoscience study, that peak may have been reached in 2013 — a year before the goal was even set.

A bit of climate optimism to brighten your week.
Climate news out of China should give us all a bit of guarded hope. This study determined the emissions decline was driven by structural and policy factors, and not strictly limited to slower economic growth.
So, finally some good news. But how did it happen?
First, let's make sure there's actually been a decline. Note the trendlines going down.
The drop happened despite continuing economic growth — even though growth has slowed, GDP is still expanding rapidly.
Energy consumption has also slumped a bit, while still growing. Yet non-fossil fuel use has expanded, taking up more of the total. Note the downward slope in coal.
Industry in China is also changing quickly, from high-polluting manufacturing to services and tech. This reduces energy intensity.
Coal consumption has also plummeted.
More on the expansion of renewables. It seems like cleaner energy is being phased in gradually to make up the shortfalls from coal and fossil fuel reduction.
Big decreases in energy output and intensity in many industries.
This isn't coincidence either. These reductions happened due to specific policy choices, applied over a long period of time.
It's possible these positive developments could dissipate with increased economic growth, however. Strict, continuous commitment to emissions reduction will be necessary.
There are plenty of reasons to believe the decreases will continue. There are political as well as economic motives for the country to take up the mantle of climate steward.
I know those "Hothouse Earth" stories are awful. They scare the hell out of me, too. But the world's biggest polluter is doing what every industrialized country should, and it's working — ahead of schedule. Good things are happening.

...outside the US. Weird how that works.
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