Under the Paris agreement, China’s carbon emission goal is now predicted to be reached between 2021 and 2025, several years sooner than the original around 2030 goal. The Paris agreement is aiming to keep temperature rise under 2°C this century. China made this commitment to lessen their contribution to climate change in 2016.
Since joining the agreement researchers have been monitoring a large sample of China’s cities to make an estimation about when the country’s CO2 emissions will reach their peak. The scientist’s most recent discovery identified that based on the sample of cities they have focused on so far the country will peak at 13 to 16 gigatons of CO2 emissions 5 to 9 years before their intended original goal. Haikun Wang, Nanjing University, said of the progress, “It reflects China’s great efforts in mitigating climate change and the ‘new normal’ of the economy, from high speed to high quality, which might cause CO2 emissions to peak earlier.”
China currently ranks as the largest contributor to pollution in the world. The country is responsible for more than 25% of the human created greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. Due to their significant negative contribution to climate change overall, it is heartening to see predictions of China holding up their part of the Paris agreement so successfully.
As to what may be to credit for China’s ability to reach this goal sooner than predicted, Nicholas Stern, London School of Economics, says the country’s shifting economy, “As China moves towards a higher tech and service economy, it is likely to show how the passage to a low-carbon economy and robust and sustainable growth in an emerging market economy can be mutually supportive.”
How might this prediction encourage other countries to quicken their progress towards lowering greenhouse gas emissions? What commitments has your country made to reduce CO2 emissions?