Wednesday, 23 September 2020
Chinese President Xi Jinping says his country will aim to stop adding to the global warming problem by 2060.Xi's announcement during a speech on Tuesday to the UN General Assembly is a significant step for the world's biggest emitter of greenhouse gases.Calling for a "green revolution", Xi said the coronavirus pandemic had shown the need to preserve the environment."Humankind can no longer afford to ignore the repeated warnings of nature," he said.
Citing the Paris Agreement that he and former US President Barack Obama helped forge in 2015, Xi said his country would raise its emissions reduction targets with "vigorous policies and measures". "We aim to have CO2 emissions peak before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060," he said.The term "carbon neutrality" means releasing no additional CO2 into the atmosphere, though technically it allows countries to keep emitting if they ensure that an equal amount is captured again in some form.
The announcement was cheered by climate campaigners. Greenpeace executive director Jennifer Morgan called it "an important signal" that showed climate change is "top of agenda for China"." "A big shift for curbing emissions and a significant step forward in international cooperation," UN climate chief Patricia Espinosa said.The goal will be a challenge for China, which relies heavily for its electricity on coal, one of the most carbon-intensive fossil fuels.