Climate Action

China pledges carbon neutrality by 2060

China’s President Xi Jinping has pledged to peak greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and reach net zero by 2060, emphasising the need for a “green revolution”.

  • 06 November 2020
  • Eleanor Macmillan-Fox

China’s President Xi Jinping has pledged to peak greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and reach net zero by 2060, emphasising the need for a “green revolution”. Since the announcement Japan has pledged net zero by 2050.

President Xi Jinping, in a speech to the UN General Assembly, has called for a global “green revolution” in response to the Covid-19 epidemic, in order to “make mother earth a better place for all”.

In his video address, President Xi has pledged that China will help tackle climate change by “adopting more vigorous policies and measures”. He has advanced on China’s Paris Agreement nationally determined contributions (NDCs) by announcing they will aim to “have CO2 emissions peak before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060”.

As China is a major polluting nation, this is likely to have a significant impact on climate change forecasts.

China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment followed up the announcement with a press conference.

The Ministry have emphasised the economic transformation and innovation that will be required to meet this aim. Li Gao, Director of the Department of Climate Change Response in the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, has highlighted the need for promoting a “green, low-carbon, circular and sustainable economic system”. His vision of this includes changes to energy production and consumption; as well as creating low-carbon industries, vehicles, transportation, buildings and technologies.

Gao has also suggested that this new ambitious schedule will require a “huge amount of effort” to achieve. But he remains optimistic with the proposition that the China adopts a “step-by-step” approach with different five-year-plans over a long period of time.

Both President Xi and China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment have stressed the importance of multilateral cooperation in achieving climate goals.

Addressing the UN General Assembly, President Xi warned that Covid-19 “will not be the last crisis to confront humanity, so we must join hands and be prepared to meet even more global challenges.”

Li Gao has echoed the President’s sentiment, advocating for a “fair, reasonable, and win-win global climate governance system”, as well as the promotion South-South climate cooperation.

Following China’s pledge, the Japanese Prime Minister, Yoshihide Suga, has announced a new net zero ambition. Addressing the Japanese Diet on 26th October 2020, Prime Minister Suga has declared Japan’s aim to become carbon neutral by 2050.

Want to find out more about how nations can achieve their net zero emission pledges and create an economic “green revolution”? Join us at the Sustainable Innovation Forum 2020 from the 16-20 November 2020, where we will be discussing Climate Policy & Finance, Energy Transition, Future Mobility, Industry Transition and more! Register for free here.