Xi said China aims to reach peak carbon emissions by the end of the decade and achieve carbon neutrality in 40 years. It’s the first time China has issued concrete plans to achieve net zero carbon dioxide emissions.
“China will scale up its Intended Nationally Determined Contributions by adopting more vigorous policies and measures,” Xi said. “We call on all countries to pursue innovative, coordinated, green and open development for all.”
China is the world’s largest contributor of planet-warming gases and uses more coal than the rest of the world combined.
But the country is also a world leader in renewable energy and in recent years has taken a stronger public stance on climate action.
Climate activists welcomed Tuesday’s announcement, but cautioned that Xi’s words and pledges must now be backed up by concrete action in the years and decades ahead.
“Moving this announcement into a concrete plan is critical — so that China’s decisions domestically match this commitment,” Morgan said.
“Those who attack America’s exceptional environmental record while ignoring China’s rampant pollution are not interested in the environment,” Trump said on Tuesday during his pre-recorded speech to the UNGA.
Ahead of the meeting, countries will need to increase their commitments to cut emissions to get on track to meet the Paris goals.