“We aim to have CO2 emissions peak before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060,” China’s President Xi Jinping told the UN General Assembly in September. “COVID-19 reminds us that humankind should launch a green revolution,” he added. Given that global emissions are still rising — despite the pandemic-related slowdown — and in view of the inadequacy of the Paris climate pledges, China’s announcement was widely welcomed as the most important commitment since the 2015 Paris agreement in the push to carbon neutrality by mid-century. “It’s like steroids in the move to decarbonization,” said Niklas Hagelberg, coordinator of the Climate Change Program at the United Nations Environment Program, of the pledge from the world’s largest carbon emitter. With China accounting for 28% of global CO2 emissions, its carbon neutral pledge is fundamental to achieving worldwide net-zero emissions. Even without any further commitments from other countries, global heating could now be limited to around 2.35 degrees Celsius (4.23 degrees Fahrenheit) by 2100, which is 0.25 C lower than the expected rise, according to Hector Pollitt, chief economist at Cambridge Econometrics, a UK-based economic analysis firm. In the wake of Beijing’s commitment, neighboring countries followed suit, with Japan committing to net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and South Korea to carbon neutrality by 2050 in the ensuing weeks — the… Read full this story
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