Bloomberg: China’s Secret to Reaching Carbon-Neutral Goal Raises Questions
Fri October, 2020, Age: 2 weeks
Chinese President Xi Jinping recently announced at the UN that China plans to become carbon neutral by 2060. Currently, China is the world’s largest carbon emitter, and Xi’s commitment will require a massive overhaul of China’s energy mix at the very minimum. In the wake of COVID-19, Chinese firms’ investment in coal energy both domestically and along the BRI have grown this year. Officials have indicated that strategies to absorb and capture carbon dioxide will be a significant part of China’s plan to go carbon neutral; one government researcher has also indicated that China will use natural carbon sinks such as vegetation, soil, and oceans that absorb more carbon than they release as well as large-scale carbon capture, utilization, and storage. These technologies are still relatively immature, with high costs that have thus-far prohibited their widespread use. And experts are also skeptical of China’s projection of the effectiveness of its so-called “natural-based solutions,” which include restoring wetlands, foresting mangroves and seagrass, and planting trees.