From Xinhua News Agency, Oct. 25, 2021. Complete text:
Beijing – One year after its leadership pledged to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060, China has demonstrated its unswerving commitment to honoring its words by concrete actions.
China, striving for a greener world, is expected to realize carbon neutrality through carbon peaking in the shortest time span in global history. The latest proof came as China on Sunday [Oct. 24] published a guiding document on the country’s work to achieve carbon peaking and carbon neutrality goals under the new development philosophy, laying out key specific targets and measures for the coming decades.
The key document, jointly released by the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council, reiterated China’s climate pledge.
The world’s second-largest economy is seeking to balance its climate ambition and economic development. On China’s pathway to a low carbon economy, one thing is becoming clearer: its ambition of net zero emissions does not have to come at the cost of a sharp economic slowdown as some foreign media speculates.
China has a stronger economic incentive to reduce carbon emissions, particularly through developing and investing in new energy and transportation sectors, as the world is coping with climate threats together.
The massive transition of the Chinese economy to a low carbon one will see new jobs created, relevant technological innovation advanced and the competitiveness of domestic enterprises promoted.
According to the newly published guiding document, by 2060, China will have fully established a clean, low-carbon, safe and efficient energy system, with energy efficiency reaching the advanced international level.
As a global leader in solar, wind and hydropower generation in terms of cumulative installed capacities, China has been well recognized for its clean energy technologies internationally. China’s green transformation will not only equip its own domestic companies with leading green technologies, but also bring opportunities for global investors.
The statistics speak for themselves. Companies from China had participated in 416 international hydropower cooperation projects by 2020, including 11 new ones signed in 2020. In that year, China’s wind turbine units were exported to 22 countries with a trade volume of $1.1 billion, up by over 20% compared to the year before. Out of the world’s top 10 wind turbine manufacturers, seven are from China, according to a report on China’s international cooperation in renewable energies.
China has established a strong position in the solar power industry in terms of installed capacity, solar panel manufacturing and technology export.
These three clean energy sectors are expected to become new economic growth points as the world transitions to clean and renewable energy.
Another new pillar of China’s economic growth as it slashes carbon emissions is vehicle electrification. New energy vehicle (NEV) sales in China increased 10.9% year on year to 1.37 million units in 2020, amid government efforts to encourage their use and ease pressure on the environment. New players are piling into this industry to claim a share of the market. The rising popularity of NEVs subsequently boosts the construction of battery charging stations and swapping stations across the country.
Besides looking for cleaner energies, the country is also retiring outdated production facilities and high energy-consuming enterprises to cut emissions at the source. This might have an immediate impact on some local economies, but industrial upgrading and decarbonizing can drive China’s economic growth and make it healthier and more sustainable in the longer term. The carbon peak and neutrality targets offer a huge opportunity for China to pursue high-quality development. China does not need to sacrifice economic growth when implementing climate action policies. On the contrary, it can achieve both economic and environmental benefits during its green transition.