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Chinese President Xi Jinping addresses the Global Trade in Services Summit.
On September 4, 2020, Chinese President xi jinping in world service trade summit delivered a speech. Source: xinhua/Alamy agency
September 29, 2020At 11:40 a.m.

Analysis: in 2060 the "carbon neutral" can make China "more rich"

Hector Pollitt

Hector Pollitt

Hector Pollitt

Hector Pollitt

29.09.2020 | 11:40 am
Translations Analysis: in 2060 the "carbon neutral" can make China "more rich"

Our latest analysis shows that in 2060 China "carbon neutral" before implementationAccidental commitment, may the global warming this century 0.25 ℃ lower level, and boost the country's GDP growth.

Xi jinping is in the UN general assembly this week announced by the President of this important message.This commitment marks, overnight, more than one 6 of the world's population and contribute about a third of the world's carbon dioxide emissions, will achieve "net zero emissions" in forty years.

We adopt the Cambridge econometricsE3ME macroeconomic modelAnalysis of the influence of this commitment.China's carbon dioxide emissions need drops rapidly, is likely to realize net zero emissions by 2060.

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Realize the huge investments required to reduce emissions, is expected to pull in the next ten years China's GDP rose by 5%;At the same time, the benefit from reducing fossil fuel imports, also may produce some moderate continuous positive influence.

China's investment will not only deep cuts in their emissions of carbon dioxide, will also reduce the cost of clean energy, for other countries to create a positive "spillover" effect.

Even if other countries, in general, no longer to enhance climate commitments, is China's commitment to "zero" net alone may be global warming levels remain at around 2.35 ℃ in this century.Than we expected in our "baseline scenario" low 0.25 ℃ or so.

The road to "zero emissions"

According to our model, in order to promote China in 2060 "net zero emissions of carbon dioxide, need to implement a series of policies.Its foundation is based on China's emergingCarbon emissions trading system(ETS) on the basis of "efficiency" and "the carbon price" of "combination".

China also needs to provide certain technical support (for example, renewable energy subsidies feed-in tariffs or electric cars), to speed up the application of existing technology trends.China should also ensure that no longer newCoal-fired power plants, strengthen supervision on the market to the important role of "net zero".

Than we expected based on current policy and technology trends, these interventions can be cut sharply over the next 40 years China's carbon dioxide emissions.As shown in the figure below, in the next 40 years, this can avoid 215 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.

Under existing policy and technology trend of China's carbon dioxide emissions model (that is, the blue line represents the baseline scenario), and by 2060 the path of the
Under existing policy and technology trend of China's carbon dioxide emissions model (that is, the blue line represents the baseline scenario), and by 2060 the path of the "net zero discharge" (that is, the red line represents the Chinese net zero emissions scenario) contrast figure (unit: one million tons of carbon dioxide).Source: Cambridge econometric model research.This chart is made by carbon presentation use Highcharts.

It is important to note that in our model, represented by the existing policy "baseline scenario" (i.e., above the blue line) has shown that China's carbon dioxide emissions will quickly before the year 2025 "peak", then down, and keep long-term stable.Other studies have alsoShow that, China is likely to be early in 2030 its commitment to "about" before the peak emissions.

In our baseline model, carbon dioxide emissions are able to "peak", ahead of schedule due toLow cost of solar energyAnd wind power, they have begun to replace the coal-fired electric power grid.It also gives us the opportunity to learn about the latest China "carbon neutral" promise of one of the potential motive.

The global impact

We model of China's carbon dioxide emissions to 215 billion tonnes (215 gt).The limit global warming to 1.5 or 2 ℃ residual"Carbon budgetIn terms of ", is of extraordinary significance.

But this is not the promises and the only way to reduce emissions, because China's actions in other parts of the world will have a "spillover" effect.We have witnessed this effect on solar panels: driving force for China's high demandFalling prices.

This means that even if other countries do not take any new climate policy in response to the climate of China to further strengthen ambition, emissions from these countries still will decline.Our model shows that the impact is not small, it can reduce the amount of more than 500 million tons of co2 each year (500 mtco2).

Overall, our results show that the "carbon neutral" 2060 commitment to cut carbon dioxide emissions, 0.25 ℃ in this century to avoid global warming.This means that by 2100, global temperatures will probably from pre-industrial levels rise by 2.35 ℃, rather than the baseline scenario of 2.59 ℃.

The results and theClimate action tracking(Climate Action Tracker) the organization's latest findings, the latter believe that the pledge can avoid 0.2 0.3 ℃ temperature.

Our modeling results shows that the "spillover" effect is not entirely positive.China's rapid "to" carbide would reduce oil demand;Assuming no additional policy intervention, so relative to the baseline scenario, global oil prices drop or as high as 5%, outside China electric car transformation will slow.

Larger economies

To make the current implementation of the world's largest emitter of decarburization, its cost is not low."Carbon neutral" path according to our simulations, at today's prices, "the carbon price" can achieve per tonne of carbon dioxide $250 ($250 / tCO2).

Relative to the baseline scenario ", the next forty years, only the power industry will increase the $four trillion investment (calculated at today's prices, not the discount).Currently, millions of people in the coal industry.

"Decarburization", however, most of the required technology and equipment are made in China, China also has the ability to increase capacity.The country will also slash spending on imported fossil fuels, at the same timeascensionSelf-sufficiency.

The result: relative to the baseline scenario, China's gross domestic product (GDP) will be under the "net zero scene", its short-term positive effect is particularly significant.

Net zero path, the change of China's GDP compared with the baseline scenario
"Net zero" path, China's GDP changes compared to the baseline scenario (unit: percentage).Source: Cambridge econometric model research.This chart is made by carbon presentation use Highcharts.

Will be particularly large difference in the early days, GDP, this reflects the investment in the field of renewable energy.But benefit from fossil fuels to reduce the cost of imports, long-term income will be relatively small.China's energy security will also be improved.

If, on the other hand, assuming that other countries will not take further policy response, so under the influence of oil and gas exports less income, GDP or in other countries outside China would decrease in the light of (fell less than 1%).Overall, due to China's growth will be more than in other parts of the loss, global GDP will continue to rise.

It is important to note that the result is not included any feedback from the climate system.To 2060, the nature of climate change will lead to considerable influence.

Local struggle

From the point of the modeling results, in general, China will benefit from the new target.But it is also hard to avoid has some local "struggle".For example, millions of coal workers or face "transferred" dilemma, depend on the part of the coal mining areas will be hit hard.

Xi jinping, the chairman's speech shows that, in his eyes, the cost of transition is affordable, and the benefits outweigh the costs.The stand in stark contrast with the United States, though the upcoming election may change the situation.

Is clear is that in many countries still when we consider the climate commitments, China has set a benchmark.

Credit: the modeling work obtained the UK natural environment research council "financial risk and the effects of climate change" project (NERC FRANTIC) support, funding for NE/S017119/1.

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