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New center to study carbon policies


The Chinese Academy of Sciences launched a new research center on Monday to help China achieve carbon neutrality by studying new policies, testing new technical road maps and formulating new theories and solutions.

The Center for Carbon Neutrality Strategy will operate under the Institutes of Science and Development, CAS. The center's expert advisory body will include nearly 30 academicians and experts from government agencies and top universities.

On Sunday, the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council, China's Cabinet, released a working guidance on the country's effort to achieve its carbon emissions peak and carbon neutrality, including laying out key specific targets and measures for the future.

For example, China aims to increase the share of nonfossil energy consumption to around 20 percent by 2025, around 25 percent by 2030 and over 80 percent by 2060, the document said.

By 2030, the total installed capacity of wind and solar power will have reached over 1,200 gigawatts. By 2060, China will have established a safe, clean and efficient low-carbon energy system, it said.

Pan Jiaofeng, president of the Institutes of Science and Development, CAS, said the new center represents a key measure in serving the nation's carbon dioxide emissions peak and carbon neutrality goals.

"By focusing on key issues for achieving a carbon emissions peak and carbon neutrality, it aims to become a major contributor to our carbon neutrality strategies and a contributor for related policy and decision-making," he said.

Wang Yi, director of the Center for Carbon Neutrality Strategy, said achieving the goals requires a comprehensive reform of various socioeconomic sectors, and China would need to explore a path that is practical for its conditions.

According to the China Sustainable Development Report 2020 released by the academy on Monday, China only has 30 years to achieve carbon neutrality after its carbon emissions peak, which is a major challenge for a developing country since developed western countries typically have 50 to 70 years to achieve their carbon neutrality.

For China to achieve its goals within the time frame, the report estimates that some developed eastern provinces and western regions with good renewable energy potential should achieve their carbon emissions peaks during the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) period, a few years before the nation reaches its overall peak by 2030.

"Achieving a carbon emissions peak and carbon neutrality depends on a combination of objectives, policies and actions. It is also a gradual process that requires constant innovations and adjustments as we deepen our scientific understanding of the subject," Wang said.

(China Daily)