China must set an absolute limit on greenhouse gas emissions for the next four years to meet its own climate goals. So says an influential adviser to the government of the world’s most populous country.
So far, Xi Jinping’s government wants emissions to peak before 2030, after which the country must be carbon neutral by 2060. The advisory committee will require China to take the initiative in international cooperation on climate policy.
China now has no restrictions on the amount of CO2 it emits. With 10 billion tons of harmful greenhouse gas annually, it is the world leader. The advisory council believes that restrictions should apply to specific provinces and sectors. The system for CO2 taxes must also be improved, and detailed plans with a timeline must be drawn up for the switch to electric transport and to a sustainable energy system.
The rest of the world is also looking at the plans of the biggest polluter ahead of the key climate conference in Glasgow in November. Pressure is mounting on Beijing to reduce its use of coal and investment in high-carbon projects. British and US government representatives recently visited the country to discuss climate cooperation.
China has announced that it will shortly announce stricter targets with which the country would comply with the climate agreements made in Paris in 2015. Countries there agreed to limit the temperature increase to a minimum of 1.5 degrees and a maximum of 2 degrees.