Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday announced more commitments for tackling climate change, including cutting down carbon dioxide emissions relative to economic activity by over 65% by 2030, in comparison with the country’s levels from 2005, Xinhua reported.
China had in 2015 promised to cut its carbon intensity by 60-65% by the 2030, according to Reuters. Carbon intensity is the ratio of greenhouse gas emissions to the gross domestic product.
Xi made the announcement while addressing the Climate Ambition Summit virtually. He also asserted that China was aiming for growth in renewable energy and forest stock.
“China will lower its carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP [gross domestic product] by over 65 percent from the 2005 level, increase the share of non-fossil fuels in primary energy consumption to around 25 percent, increase the forest stock volume by 6 billion cubic meters from the 2005 level, and bring its total installed capacity of wind and solar power to over 1.2 billion kilowatts,” Xi was quoted as saying by Xinhua.
The Chinese president also emphasised on the need for international cooperation to fight climate change. “In meeting the climate challenge, no one can be aloof and unilateralism will get us nowhere,” he said. “Only by upholding multilateralism, unity and cooperation can we deliver shared benefits and win-win for all nations.”
Xi said China always honoured its commitments. “We will take solid steps to implement the targets just announced, and contribute even more to tackling the global climate challenge,” he was quoted as saying by Xinhua.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also spoke at the event. Modi said that India reduced its emission intensity by 21%, in comparison to the 2005 levels, PTI reported. He added that India was on track to exceed its Paris Climate Agreement targets.
“Today, as we are looking to set our sights even higher, we must also not lose sight of the past,” he was quoted as saying by the news agency. “We must not only revise our ambitions , but also review our achievements against targets already set. Only then can our voices be credible for future generations.”
Last month, Modi said that India had set a target of cutting down its carbon footprint by 30% to 35% and increasing the use of natural gas. He did not elaborate on a timeline for this though.
The Ministry of Environment had said in August that India’s carbon emissions for 2020 were predicted to reduce by around 8% because of the coronavirus lockdown.
In July 2019, the United Nations had asked India to update and enhance its plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It had said India could announce its strategy to reduce emissions at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York on September 23.
In 2015, at the Paris Agreement, the world had decided to limit global warming to two degree Celsius below pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the increase to 1.5 degree Celsius.