China reiterates its commitment on carbon emissions

Diplomatic Correspondent

24 April, 2021 12:00 AM printer

China, the world's largest developing country, has reaffirmed that its CO2 emissions will peak before 2030 and carbon neutrality will be achieved before 2060.

The promise was reiterated by President Xi Jinping at Thursday's Leaders Summit on Climate, an important juncture in the global climate political process before the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties set for Glasgow, UK in November.

“We must be committed to harmony between man and Nature. We must treat Nature as our root, respect it, protect it, and follow its laws. We should protect Nature and preserve the environment like we protect our eyes, and endeavor to foster a new relationship where man and Nature can both prosper and live in harmony,” said the Chinese President.

Upon the invitation of the U.S. President Joe Biden, President Xi Jinping attended the Leaders Summit on Climate in Beijing via video link and delivered

an important speech named "For Man and Nature: Building a Community of Life Together".

"China has made cooperation in ecological civilization a priority of joint building Belt and Road and promoted a series of green initiatives," the President noted in his speech, adding that China will hold the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in October.

Xi told other world leaders at the summit that concrete action was already being taken. "China has integrated the goal into the ecological civilization construction and an action plan for hitting the peak of carbon emissions by 2030 is underway."

"During the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) period, we will strictly control the growth of coal consumption and gradually curb the consumption during the 15th Five-Year Plan period," he added.

Coal-fired power remains a major energy source in China, and the country has vowed to bring the share of coal in total energy consumption to under 56 percent in 2021.

Xi Jinping stressed that ecological advancement and conservation have been written into China's overall plan for building socialism with Chinese characteristics.

China will continue to prioritize ecological conservation and pursue a green and low-carbon path to development. China made the official announcement that it will strive to peak carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060, he said.

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. “We are now making an action plan and are already taking strong nationwide actions toward carbon peak. Support is being given to peaking pioneers from localities, sectors and companies.”

China will strictly control coal-fired power generation projects, and strictly limit the increase in coal consumption over the 14th Five-Year Plan period and phase it down in the 15th Five-Year Plan period.”

The 14th Five-Year Plan, a key policy document that will heavily influence the nation's economic development in the next decade and beyond, outlined that energy consumption per unit of gross domestic product (GDP) and carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP will be reduced by 13.5 percent and 18 percent, respectively, during the period.

Xi Jinping pointed out that climate change has posed severe challenges to human survival and development.

Faced with unprecedented challenges in global environmental governance, he said the international community needs to come up with unprecedented ambition and action, discuss ways to tackle this challenge, and find a path forward for man and Nature to live in harmony. “We need to act with a sense of responsibility and unity, and work together to foster a community of life for man and Nature.”