China will be the most efficient country in the world in reducing carbon emissions: official
Published: Sep 23, 2021 12:41 AM
Photo taken on Feb. 24, 2021 shows a molten-salt solar thermal power plant in Dunhuang, northwest China's Gansu Province. (Photo: Xinhua)

Photo taken on February 24, 2021 shows a molten-salt solar thermal power plant in Dunhuang, Northwest China's Gansu Province. Photo: Xinhua

China's "dual carbon" target will make it the most efficient country in the world in reduction of carbon emissions, an official mentioned on Wednesday, which marks the one-year anniversary of China's proposal to achieve carbon neutrality before 2060.

"China is the largest developing country in the world. The goal of carbon peaking and carbon neutrality means that China will achieve the highest reduction in carbon emissions in the world and achieve carbon neutrality in the shortest time in history. At that time, its per capita GDP and carbon emissions will be lower than in the US, Europe, Japan and other developed countries when they peak," Xie Zhenhua, China's Special Representative on Climate Change, said on Wednesday during a live seminar named "Carbon Neutrality: China in Action".

The international symposium was organized to commemorate the first anniversary of China's "dual carbon" goals at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). The event also showcases China's "dual carbon" process to the world.

During the Global Live Seminar and Research Report Release, a report on the analysis of policy layout and industry trends in the international context was jointly released by the Renmin University of China and the China International Publishing Group.

China's role in tackling climate change is crucial. On September 22, 2020, China first proposed at the UNGA that it would strive to achieve carbon neutrality before 2060. After that, a broad and profound systemic economic and social transformation has been underway in China, read the report.

Xie said that in a short period of time, China has demonstrated strong appeal, cohesion and action. It shows that governments at all levels, society and the public attach great importance to the implementation of the "dual carbon" goal and are concerned about the survival and sustainable development of mankind.

"We are confident that we will fully implement China's goals and make greater contributions to global climate governance and post-COVID-19 green, low-carbon and high-quality recovery," Xie added.

In the past year, China demonstrated its unprecedented power to take actions. Its ministries and commissions have issued key policies on carbon neutrality. Provinces and municipalities across the nation are including peak carbon dioxide emissions and carbon neutrality into their own 14th Five-Year plan (2021-25). 

Industry-wide sectors are actively responding to the call by drawing emission reduction roadmaps. In addition, the financial system is fully open for green development, according to the report.

Green financing totaled nearly 12 trillion yuan ($1.86 trillion) by the end of 2020, with green bonds reaching a total of 813.2 billion yuan, according to official data.

"China already has a concrete plan of action. From government to businesses, from universities to the private sector, action plans are all accelerating. Particularly encouraging is the development of green finance in China. All these demonstrated China's responsibility and actions to address climate change, the climate crisis, as well as China's climate leadership. China's carbon commitments and actions will have a big impact in the international community," Kevin Rudd, President of the Asia Society Policy Institute and former Prime Minister of Australia, said on Wednesday during the symposium.

Rudd noted that one of the biggest challenges facing the world today is climate change. 

"China's contribution is crucial to addressing climate change. Its contribution to global climate action is the most important opportunity for China to exercise global leadership in the new era," Rudd added.

It is also worth noting that if China is to become "carbon neutral" by 2060, it might not be enough for it to achieve carbon peak by 2030. 

According to research by Tsinghua University and the Asia Society, China needs to bring forward its carbon peak timetable to around 2025, which is an opportunity for the country. 

"It means that by 2049, the 100th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, there is hope that China will celebrate leading the world by becoming fully 'carbon neutral'," said Rudd.