China has made a new commitment to achieve net zero carbon dioxide emissions before 2060 by balancing carbon emissions with carbon removal as well as prompting non-fossil fuels consumption.
Chinese president Xi Jinping pledged at the general debate of the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly via video last week that his country aims to have CO2 emissions peak before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060.
"China will scale up its Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) by adopting more vigorous policies and measures," he said.
INDC, which is part of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change reached in 2015, is based on reducing production-based carbon emission.
China is one of the world largest carbon emitting countries, with CO2 emission of about 10 billion tonnes per annum now accounting for 30% of the global total.
China’s zero-emissions target by 2060 means that China will need to cut emissions by between 300 million and 350 million tonnes per annum, said Wang Lining, a director engineer of the market research section of CNPC Petroleum Economic & Technology Research Institute.
The new target will also require China to beef up power generating capacity from wind and solar by 200 million kilowatts per annum from now until 2060, up from the current 100 million kilowatts at present, Zhang Lei, chairman of Chinese green technology company Envision Group, said.
Including coal, fossil fuels now account for more than 80% of China’s energy consumption of 4.71 billion tonnes of coal equivalent, of which coal accounts for 59.1%, petroleum 18.9%, natural gas 7.8% and renewable 14.2%.
The government targets coal, oil and renewables to each share one third of China’s energy consumption mix by 2035.
Ultimately the country is aiming for a new energy system based on 60% renewable energy by 2050.
Envision’s Zhang said that, in order to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060, China will need to wind down fossil fuel consumption to account for about 25% of the total energy demand by that time.
The country’s Blue Sky action plan is another driver for the ongoing green movement, which targets to cut emissions of sulphur, nitrogen oxides and other pollutants by at least 15% in between 2015 and the end of this year.
Shell and China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) have already signed a pact that will see the Anglo-Dutch supermajor supply two carbon-neutral liquefied natural gas cargoes, the first such deal in China to use LNG to offset carbon dioxide emissions.
The two companies will use nature-based carbon credits in China’s Qinghai province and Xinjiang region and in Shell’s global portfolio to compensate for the full CO2 emissions.
The two cargoes will provide enough carbon-neutral LNG to power nearly 300,000 homes for a year as a new option for CNOOC to reduce its carbon footprint.
The first cargo was traded at Shanghai Petroleum and Natural Gas Exchange in early September.