Washington, D.C. — China has taken some steps toward decarbonization in recent years, but a new report from the Center for American Progress says the Chinese government must set more ambitious near-term goals to help meet global emission reduction targets.
Chinese President Xi Jinping recently committed to a goal of having carbon dioxide emissions peak before 2030 and achieving carbon neutrality before 2060. Yet China’s emissions continue to rise, calling into question its ability to meet those goals. And the near-term climate and energy targets released in the Chinese government’s 14th Five-Year Plan in March 2021 are far too modest to reach those targets.
“It is in the interest of both the United States and China to chart a pathway to meeting high climate standards, not just in the long term but also in the next decade,” said Laura Edwards, co-author of the report and program coordinator for China Policy with CAP’s National Security and International Policy team. “The Biden administration should continue to discuss decarbonization with China to facilitate greater ambition in both countries.”
The report provides an assessment of China’s recent energy and emissions trends in key sectors to give context to Beijing’s climate plans. It analyzes China’s progress in meeting existing energy and climate goals and where the relative ambition of China’s new climate and energy goals will place the country in coming years. The report also examines the challenges and opportunities for the Biden administration in engaging with China on climate as the United States shores up its own climate policies and charts its domestic transition to a low-carbon economy.
The report urges U.S. officials to push China to increase its climate action goals for the 2020s, end financing for coal projects abroad, and accelerate the transition to carbon neutrality.
Read the report: “Assessing China’s Energy and Climate Goals” by Joanna Lewis and Laura Edwards
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