China on track to meet climate change targets

AAP

China continues to increase its renewable energy use as the Asian nation works towards lowering growth in carbon emissions, a new report says.

The federal government's Climate Commission released a report today showing the world's two largest economies, China and the United States, are on the path to meet their international commitments on climate change.

Chief commissioner Tim Flannery says China is set to become a global leader on climate change.

"China has halved its growth in electricity demand, dramatically increased its renewable energy capacity, and decelerated its emissions growth more quickly than expected," Prof Flannery said.

He says China has begun to curb its use of coal in producing energy after years of strong growth.

"They are beginning to put in place seven emissions trading schemes that will cover a quarter of a billion people (nearly 20 per cent of China's population)."

Prof Flannery said the country was reducing its water and air pollution as it moved towards becoming the world's leader in the use of renewable energy.

Globally four new emission trading schemes introduced around the world this year took the number of national schemes to 35.

The setting of renewable energy targets was the most common policy to deal with climate change, where solar and wind produced energy increased by 42 per and 21 per cent respectively in one year, Prof Flannery said.

Australia's greenhouse gas emissions from electricity generation fell in the six months to December 2012 to the lowest level since 2001/2, the report said.

The amount of renewable energy Australia could produced had nearly double from 2001 to 2012.

There were many opportunities for Australia but the nation had to be ready in a quickly changing world, he said.

Global emissions continued to rise despite the strong actions taken to address them, Prof Flannery said.

"To protect our society from the impacts of climate change, we all need to (go) much further in the coming years," he said.