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China says 27 of 31 regions met 2016 low carbon targets

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China said 27 of its 31 regions met their greenhouse gas reduction targets aimed at combating global warming in 2016, the country's climate change regulator said in a notice on Monday.

China is the world's biggest source of greenhouse gases and in 2016 published a plan for its 31 regions to accelerate the development of non-fossil fuel energy, tackle greenhouse gases in the agricultural sector and boost forest coverage.

China has pledged to cut carbon dioxide produced per unit of GDP growth by 18 percent over 2016-2020 and to cap total energy consumption at 5 billion tonnes of standard coal equivalent by the end of the decade, up from 4.3 billion tonnes in 2015.

Among the regions rated as "excellent" were the cities of Beijing and Shanghai and the major manufacturing provinces of Zhejiang in east China and Guangdong on the southeast coast.

But the remote western regions of Tibet and Qinghai, the rural southwestern region of Guangxi and the northeast rustbelt province of Liaoning all "failed" to implement their targets, said the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

The assessment covered only 2016 and the NDRC did not provide any details.

Beijing has pledged to bring greenhouse gas emissions to a peak by "around 2030" as part of a commitment to the Paris climate change agreement. While it has promised to reduce carbon intensity over 2016-2020, total emissions are still expected to rise over the period.

China last month launched its long-awaited nationwide emissions trading system, which will cover the power sector in the first phase, and is aimed at reducing carbon emissions.

(Reporting by David Stanway; Editing by Michael Perry)


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