China reached its 2020 greenhouse gas emissions reduction goal last year, its government said.

Xie Zhenhua, China’s special representative for climate change, gave the update Monday at the country’s Green Carbon Summit, according to the state-run Xinhua News Agency.

China had targeted a reduction of its carbon dioxide emissions as a unit of gross domestic product (GDP) by 40 percent to 45 percent by 2020, compared to 2005 levels.


Xie said at the event that China last year achieved a 46 percent reduction under 2005 levels. Year-over-year, the nation reduced its carbon intensity by 5.1 percent.

Xie credited the reduction to an emissions trading system China’s communist government instituted starting in 2011 in certain provinces.

China has been criticized by leaders of many nations, including the United States, for trying to avoid its responsibility to reduce emissions. It is the largest greenhouse gas emitter in the world, and its economy is second only to the United States.

China pledged under the 2015 Paris agreement only to stop increasing its emissions by 2030. Officials said they would work to reduce emissions before that point, but it made no commitment on that front in the nonbinding accord.

“China will be allowed to build hundreds of additional coal plants. So we can’t build the plants, but they can, according to this agreement,” President Trump said in a June 2017 speech in which he pledged to pull the United States out of the Paris pact.

Tags China Donald Trump greenhouse gases Paris agreement

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