On Thursday, Jan 10, China's chief climate change official reported that China's carbon intensity, or its emissions relative to economic output, fell more than 3.5 percent in 2012, surpassing its annual target.
During the 2011-2015 five year plan, China intends to cut carbon intensity by 17 percent.
China is the largest consumer of coal based energy, which satisfies 70% of China's needs. While coal certainly gives immense security and independence from Geo-politically unstable energy suppliers in Middle-East, it is a major contributing factor towards air, water and soil pollution.
China's recently revamped industrial policy has set ambitious targets for its steel, non-ferrous metals and petrochemical sectors to cut carbon intensity by 18% before 2015 relative to 2010 levels, and by 40-45% before 2020 relative to 2005 levels.
These stringent energy targets will be achieved with a two pronged approach.
Second, China might revamp its mandatory one-child policy and make it voluntary, thus doing away with coercion, while investing more in terms of child and maternal health to arrest the on going population momentum.
A combinatorial approach of rapid population stabilization coupled with significant improvements in energy efficiency will make China's industrial growth more sustainable and secure.