China pledges to become carbon-free by 2060

Chinese President Xi Jinping, during his recent address to the United Nations General Assembly, announced China’s ambition to become a world leader in tackling global warming and become carbon-neutral by 2060.

China is currently the world’s biggest producer of carbon emissions and the second-largest consumer of coal, after the United States. Fossil fuels account for about 85% of the country’s energy supply, so reducing its carbon emissions to zero within 40 years is a masterstroke.

This particular step will bring a significant shift in policy and one that should be favoured and adopted by other countries as well.

Using technology China is focusing on developing urban farms that will make farming more efficient, and the emergence of other more sustainable practices, such as vegan or plant-based protein.

To become carbon-neutral by 2060 will probably require the country to increase the contribution from renewable energy sources from 15% today to something nearer to 85% within four decades. This will require substantial investment, technological development, and a shift in the way that 1.4 billion people live, work, and consume.