GUANGZHOU – China’s low-carbon path serves as a boost for green development globally, noted participants in the 2021 Understanding China Conference (Guangzhou).
Themed “Whence and Whither – Unprecedented Changes in the World and China and the CPC,” the event, scheduled from Dec 1 to 4 in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou, has attracted nearly 80 celebrated figures in the global political, academic, and economic communities.
China has pledged to have CO2 emissions peak before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060, making the world’s biggest cut in carbon emission intensity in the shortest time frame in history.
In September, the country announced that it will stop building new coal-fired projects overseas.
Xu Huaqing, director of the National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation, said the carbon pledges highlight China’s strategic purpose and direction, and that the country has a strong track record in tackling climate change.
China’s carbon intensity in 2020 was 48.4 percent less than that in 2005, which means that China had more than fulfilled its commitment of achieving a 40-45 percent reduction in carbon intensity from 2005 levels by 2020, he noted.
Experts say that China’s carbon pledges are set to have global significance as the country is a major player in fighting climate change and a strong force in promoting global development.
Guven Sak, managing director of Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey, called China’s move away from coal-fired projects overseas “a step in the right direction in limiting the cost of human activity on our planet.”
Jusuf Wanandi, a senior official of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said: “Given the sheer size of China and the story of its development success, going the green path would cement China’s reputation and leadership in the transitioning to the green path of development.”
He added that China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) presents new green opportunities for participating countries.
Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri, former foreign minister of Pakistan, echoed the view, saying that China is in a position to share its solar technology, environmental achievements and experience with the rest of the world.
He noted that some coal power plants have already been built in Pakistan with Chinese cooperation using advanced technologies to keep emissions under check.
“It (The BRI) is a golden opportunity to elevate participating economies to a higher preparedness in the planning and acquisition of China-originated innovative technologies in favor of a green economy,” said Wanandi.