Opponents of climate change proposals often cite the economic impact of such proposals as the reason they are opposed. However, a new report indicates that China will be able to grow its economy while also going climate neutral by 2050.
China is currently, by far, the world’s biggest emitter. It accounts for 29% of global emissions. To put it into perspective, the United States is number 2 with 16% of global emissions.
China was one of the Paris Agreements’ key signatures. Without China’s acceptance of lowering emissions, the goals set in the agreement have no chance of being accomplished.
And its role has grown even more important with the United States moving forward with its plans to leave the agreement.
How Will China Become Climate Neutral?
The report goes into great detail about how China is in a unique situation that allows it to benefit from going climate neutral. The initiative should bring in new investments to accelerate progress.
Some of the biggest emitters within China are heavy industries. These include cement, steel, and chemical. One simple way to reduce emissions is for these industries to use recycled materials.
It is a well-established fact that it is cheaper and better for the environment to use existing materials instead of creating new ones.
Of course, a crucial part of going climate neutral relies on the energy sector. The report estimates that China will need to double its electricity output. And simply burning more fossil fuels to achieve this will make matters worse.
Instead, the country needs to invest heavily in solar and wind energy. However, China is already doing this. It has invested billions into renewable sources and as a result, solar energy is cheaper than energy from the grid.
Meeting Climate Goals Relies On China
As the world’s largest emitter, it goes without saying that China has a lot of work ahead of itself. However, since it represents 29% of global greenhouse gas emissions, it is impossible to meet climate goals without China.