A Tough Road for China, a Great Contribution to the World
Recently, the Ministry of Science and Technology organized the Xiangshan Scientific Conference on “Innovative Sci-Tech Paths to Achieve Carbon Neutrality”. Nearly 100 Chinese academicians and high-level experts of carbon emission reduction and ecological carbon sink from different fields, such as energy, industry, transportation, construction, attended the conference and discussed about the innovative sci-tech paths to achieve carbon peaking and carbon neutrality.
Du Xiangwan, Academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, suggested that coal has dominated the energy consumption structure in China's industry sector for a long time, which makes it difficult for the transition of energy structure in China. However, more benefits can be gained through the low-carbon transition. Energy intensity is expected to fall by 40% by 2050 due to technological advances and a shift in the energy mix.
According to the plan, China will strive to peak carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060, which is not only a demand of China for itself, but also a commitment to the world.
At a press briefing held by Ministry of Foreign Affairs for Chinese and foreign media on April 22, Vice Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu said that China never shies away from coping with climate change. China made the official announcement of its goal of carbon peaking and carbon neutrality. This major strategic decision is made based on our sense of responsibility to build a community with a shared future for mankind and our own need to secure sustainable development. It manifests the requirement of the "highest possible ambition" in the Paris Agreement, and China's utmost determination to address climate change.
Ma Zhaoxu pointed out, according to relevant institutions, China's commitment to carbon neutrality will reduce the global temperature rise by 0.2-0.3 degrees Celsius, and China will transit from carbon peaking to carbon neutrality in only 30 years. It means that in order to achieve the world's largest decline in carbon emissions and to stride from carbon peaking to carbon neutrality in the shortest time in the world's history, China needs an extensive and profound systematic revolution in its economy and society.
Zhu Min, former Vice President of International Monetary Fund, suggested that it will take Europe 60 years to transit from carbon peaking to carbon neutrality in 2050 while China only has 30 years. To achieve a decline in such a large amount of carbon emissions in only 30 years is unprecedented in the human history.
Erik Berglof, Chief Economist of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), also agreed that China’s promise of reaching net-zero CO2 emissions in 2060 could be the largest contribution to the response to climate change.