24 November 2021
As the second largest global economy, the most populous nation with a population exceeding 1.4 billion, the largest carbon emitter, and one of the fastest growing global economies, China’s climate action will have a decisive influence on bending the temperature curve to 1.5°C as required by the Paris Agreement. China emitted more than a quarter of the global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in 2019. The nation’s CO2 emissions hit a new record high of around 12 GtCO2 in the 12 months to March 2021.
Nevertheless, the updated Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) lack the ambition required to be demonstrated by China in the global fight against climate change. It appears that China has failed to put its best foot forward in marching against the biggest ever challenge facing the global collective. Amongst the highlights, China has committed to peaking its carbon emissions before 2030 and to attaining carbon neutrality by 2060. the effectiveness of these commitments in achieving compatibility with the goal of 1.5°C is not clear. The carbon-centric nature of these commitments while remaining silent on non-carbon GHG emissions is concerning.