China is the largest greenhouse gas emitter in the world, and more than 80 percent of China’s greenhouse gas emissions come from the energy sector. Transforming China’s energy sector towards a low-carbon path is the most important climate change mitigation action in the world.
To help the government achieve its ambitious energy conservation and emission reduction targets, the World Bank has played a significant role in introducing market-based approaches to improve energy efficiency in China, such as the Energy Service Company (ESCO) concept and energy efficiency financing credit lines.
To disseminate China’s experience in energy efficiency and promote South-South exchange, the World Bank and the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) co-hosted a high-level international forum to promote ESCO industry and energy efficiency financing during November 8-9, 2013, under the nearly 20-year partnership between the World Bank, Global Environment Facility (GEF) and NDRC.
More than 500 participants, including government officials, bilateral and multilateral aid agencies, ESCOs, financial institutions and practitioners from China, Brazil, Bulgaria, India, Indonesia, France, the Pacific Islands, Poland, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand, the United Kingdom, the United States and Vietnam gathered in Guangzhou, China to share knowledge and experience on energy efficiency policies, financing mechanisms and ESCO business models.
The Government of China has embarked on one of the most aggressive energy conservation campaigns in the world. From 1980 to 2010, China’s energy intensity per unit of GDP declined by about 70 percent, and the government set a mandatory target to cut energy intensity by 16 percent in the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015). The target has been allocated to each province and the nation’s top energy-consuming enterprises, and the government has provided generous financial incentives, which led to the boom of Chinese ESCO industry. In addition, the Chinese government has also pledged to reduce carbon intensity per unit of GDP by 40-45 percent from 2005 to 2020, to which energy efficiency will make the single largest contribution.