China has successfully decoupled energy consumption and emissions from economic growth. From 1980 to 2010, while China’s economy increased 18-fold, energy consumption increased only 5-fold. Energy intensity per unit of GDP declined by about 70 percent during the same period.
The Chinese Government has made reducing energy intensity one of the top priorities for the nation, and embarked on one of the most aggressive energy conservation campaigns in the world – China accounted for more than half the world’s entire energy savings in the past twenty years.
Other Asian countries also put a high priority on energy efficiency, and some, such as India, Thailand, and Vietnam, have set ambitious efficiency targets.
To disseminate lessons from China’s experience, the World Bank and China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) co-hosted a South-South knowledge exchange in China on June 16-20, 2014, which included workshops and a study tour in Beijing and Xi’an. The knowledge exchange was supported by ESMAP.