China commits to investing in renewable energy as it shifts away from coal

China will invest 2.5 trillion yuan ($361 billion) into renewable power generation by 2020, as it moves away from coal to renewable energy.

 The investment will create more than 13 million jobs in the sector, the National Energy Administration (NEA) said in a document that lays out its plan to develop the nation's energy sector during the five-year 2016 to 2020 period.

The NEA said installed renewable power capacity including wind, hydro, solar and nuclear power will contribute to about half of new electricity generation by 2020.

The Chinese government wants to increase the share of non-fossil energy in the energy mix to 20% by 2030 from the current level of 11%.

China ratified the Paris climate agreement, which legally requires it to cut back on its greenhouse gas emissions, back in September with the US.

“I have said many times that green mountains and clear water are as good as mountains of gold and silver. To protect the environment is to protect productivity and to improve the environment is to boost productivity,” Chinese President Xi Jinping said at the time.

“We will unwaveringly pursue sustainable development and stay committed to green, low-carbon and circular development and to China’s fundamental policy of conserving resources and protecting the environment,” he vowed.

This story was written by Liz Gyekye, editor of Bioenergy Insight and Biofuels International.

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