China targets more than 80% non-fossil energy use by 2060

China aims to have non-fossil energy consumption exceed 80 per cent of its total mix by 2060, when the world’s second-biggest economy plans to be carbon neutral, according to guidelines published by the official Xinhua News Agency.

The measures are part of China’s larger plan for achieving peak carbon emissions and reaching net-zero by 2060, Xinhua said on Sunday. It reiterated the government’s climate goals for 2025 and 2030 and vowed to accelerate a decline in China’s coal use. 

The international community is waiting for China to make an updated commitment under the Paris Agreement as world leaders prepare for a high-stakes United Nations climate summit that starts on Oct. 31 in Glasgow, Scotland. As the world’s biggest polluter, China can do more than any other nation at this point to curb the rise in global temperatures.

Xie Zhenhua, China’s top negotiator, said in July that the nation will publish a plan, called “1+N”, which will answer questions about the country’s official road map for achieving its climate goals. According to Xie, “N” refers to policies addressing all sectors and regions. Xinhua said the document on Sunday was the “1” part of the plan. 

The report said China would “firmly curb the blind development” of projects with high energy consumption and emissions. The government will release capacity control policies for coal power, petrochemicals and coal chemical industries, Xinhua said, without giving a timetable or more details. The nation plans to reach a “plateau” of oil consumption between 2026 and 2030. 

China will also accelerate the development of industries including next-generation materials and clean energy vehicles, according to the guidelines. Investment in coal power, steel, electrolytic aluminum, cement and petrochemicals will be strictly controlled.

© 2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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