China Announces Commitment to Achieving Carbon Neutrality by 2060
Denrie Caila Perez posted on September 29, 2020 |
China will be pursuing rigorous policies to meet its 2060 target.

(Image courtesy of Pexels.)
(Image courtesy of Pexels.)

China recently announced at this year’s UN General Assembly that it will be scaling up its Paris Agreement climate target. President Xi Jinping pledged to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060, stating that the country will be adopting “more vigorous policies and measures” along with its original plans to reach peak emissions before 2030.

China is currently the largest contributor in global carbon emissions. This announcement signals a long-anticipated trajectory for the country toward decarbonization.

China will be dedicating a UN Global Geospatial Knowledge and Innovation Centre, as well as an International Research Centre of Big Data for Sustainable Development Goals, to work on its climate goals. Patricia Espinosa, the executive secretary of UN Climate Change, expressed her enthusiasm via Twitter after the Chinese President’s speech along with Greenpeace Executive Director Jennifer Morgan, who also discussed the significance of China’s commitment.

President Xi has called on other countries to “pursue innovative, coordinated, green and open development for all, seize the historic opportunities presented by the new round of scientific and technological revolution and industrial transformation, achieve a green recovery of the world economy in the post-COVID era and thus create a powerful force driving sustainable development.”

The Paris Agreement was first introduced in 2015, encouraging countries around the world to reach net zero emissions by the second half of the century. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), it is still possible to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius if the world reaches net-zero emissions by 2040. The sooner emissions peak, the more likely it is for the country to achieve the net-zero goal in time. Numerous countries have already pushed for government legislation to achieve their respective emissions targets.

Countries like Denmark, which is eyeing a carbon-neutral society by 2050, are already encouraging the shift to electric vehicles. The United Kingdom passed a 2019 amendment to its original 2008 emissions law to meet the Paris Agreement target and is currently aiming for net-zero emissions by 2050. Canada is also aiming for 2050 and has already implemented a carbon tax.

In Asia, countries such as Singapore and Japan aren’t committing to any particular target date, stating instead that they will be working toward “the earliest possible time.” However, both have already begun forming policy frameworks and climate strategies to reduce carbon emissions. Notably, Singapore is aiming to phase out internal combustion vehicles by 2040.

Other countries included in the Paris Agreement are similarly aiming for 2045-2050 target dates, with most having submitted their climate strategies and legislation proposals to the UN.

For more news and stories, check out how buildings and infrastructure are being updated in response to climate change here.

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