Energy & Environment

China pledges to become carbon neutral by 2060

China, the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, announced Tuesday it would seek to reach carbon neutrality by 2060.

It’s a notable pledge from a nation frequently targeted by Republicans, who argue the U.S. should not move ahead on more ambitious climate action without stronger commitments from other major emitters.

In a speech before the United Nations General Assembly, President Xi Jinping said China would scale up its commitments under the 2015 Paris Climate Accord.

“Covid-19 reminds us that humankind should launch a green revolution and move faster to create a green way of development and life, preserve the environment and make Mother Earth a better place for all. Humankind can no longer afford to ignore the repeated warnings of nature and go down the beaten path of extracting resources without investing in conservation, pursuing development at the expense of protection, and exploiting resources without restoration,” he said.

China had previously only committed to having its emissions peak by 2030 under the accord. Now, in addition to its 2060 goal, Xi said the nation would try to hit peak emissions before the 2030 deadline.

Xi also called on nations to “achieve a green recovery of the world economy in the post-Covid era.”

The European Union has such an effort underway, part of a green stimulus package to boost the economy following the coronavirus outbreak. And last week the union pledged to cut its emissions by 55 percent by 2030, a nod to next year’s U.N. climate summit where nation’s are expected to roll out renewed efforts to meet their Paris commitments.

President Trump has vowed to leave the Paris Climate Accord, a move he can make official on Nov. 4, the day after the presidential election.

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