Xi Jinping: China aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060

23 Sep, 2020 02:47
source: Singularity Financial

Singularity Financial Hong Kong September 23, 2020 – In a video message to the UN general assembly on Tuesday, Chinese President Xi Jinping said China is willing to contribute more to the fight against climate change, as it aims to bring carbon emissions to a peak by 2030, and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060 with more forceful policies and measures.

“The Paris Agreement on climate change charts the course for the world to transition to green and low-carbon development. It outlines the minimum steps to be taken to protect the Earth, our shared homeland, and all countries must take decisive steps to honor this agreement,” President Xi said. “Humankind can no longer afford to ignore the repeated warnings of nature and go down the beaten path of extracting resources without investing in conservation, pursuing development at the expense of protection, and exploiting resources without restoration.”

He called on all countries to “seize the historic opportunity” of scientific and technological innovation and recover green from the the coronavirus pandemic.

“Xi Jinping’s climate pledge is a bold diplomatic move that demonstrates clear political will and the maximum desire to contrast China’s climate stance with the US,” Li Shuo, Beijing-based senior energy and climate officer at Greenpeace, told oversea media.

John Murton, the UK’s climate ambassador for UN climate talks in Glasgow next year, or Cop26, tweeted that it was “a significant announcement” and he was looking forward to learning about the details.

Jennifer Tollman, a policy advisor and climate diplomacy expert at think tank E3G, added the move marked “a huge economic shift” as both China and the European Union – the world’s two largest markets – promised to end their contributions to climate change.

The move comes ahead of China’s 14th five-year plan, which will include detailed development targets from 2021 to 2025. Sources told Bloomberg that China plans to reduce the share of coal in its energy mix from 57.5% in 2020 to 52% in 2025. On the same date, it plans to get 20% of primary energy from non fossil fuels sources.

That would translate to 42% of China’s grid being powered by renewable and nuclear energy by 2025, according to Bloomberg analysis – up from 32% today.

Richard Black, director of the UK-based Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit, welcomed the move as a “very significant step forward”.

“China isn’t just the world’s biggest emitter but the biggest energy financier and biggest market, so its decisions play a major role in shaping how the rest of the world progresses with its transition away from the fossil fuels that cause climate change.”

US. President Donald Trump has been a longstanding critic of the United Nations and has challenged its multilateral diplomacy as an impediment to his “America First” policy — even as the United States remains the biggest single contributor to the United Nations budget.

Joanna Lewis, a Georgetown University professor who follows China’s climate policies, noted stark differences between Mr. Trump’s rhetorical attacks on China and Mr. Xi’s speech during UN assembly meeting.

“While Trump’s speech blames China for the world’s problems, Xi’s speech calls for global response and highlights China’s contributions,” she said.