(Economic Observation) How is China's carbon neutral road?

Expert: High-quality development is the key

  China News Service, Beijing, October 10 (Liu Wenwen) The proposal of the dual carbon target not only has a profound impact on China's economic structure, energy structure, production and consumption patterns, but also poses new challenges to China's energy use and economic development methods .

How to reduce emissions during development, develop during emissions reduction, and achieve the integration of economy and emissions reduction?

How should China's carbon neutral road go?

  Recently, the School of Economics of Minzu University of China organized a carbon-neutral high-end forum and the establishment of the carbon-neutral research institute. Many experts and scholars conducted in-depth discussions on the low-carbon development path under China's dual-carbon goals.

  It is understood that 54 countries in the world have reached their peak carbon emissions, accounting for 40% of the total global carbon emissions.

Among them, the 27 EU countries as a whole peaked in 1990, and Japan peaked in 2013.

As of October 2020, 126 out of 197 countries in the world have proposed the goal of carbon neutrality in this century.

  Ma Aimin, deputy director of the National Climate Change Strategy Research and International Cooperation Center, pointed out that most of the countries that have reached the peak are developed countries, and most of them have experienced a long climbing period and plateau period before and after the peak. In the process of reaching the peak A considerable degree of economic growth has been achieved.

For example, compared with 1990, the European Union's GDP has increased significantly, while emissions have also decreased significantly over the same period.

This shows that under certain conditions, it is possible to decouple economic growth from carbon emissions.

At the same time, some developed countries have not yet reached the peak, which also shows that achieving carbon peak is not easy.

  For China, on the one hand, China is still in the process of industrialization, and there will be greater energy demand for future development.

On the other hand, although the current share of coal consumption has fallen to about 56%, the energy structure dominated by coal has not fundamentally changed, making it more difficult for China to reduce carbon than those countries dominated by oil and gas.

At the same time, China has promised that the time from carbon peak to carbon neutrality is only about half that of developed countries, making it even more difficult.

In this regard, Ma Aimin said bluntly, "China must take the path of high-quality development to achieve carbon peak and carbon neutrality."

  Academician Chen Fahu of the Chinese Academy of Sciences also said that economic and social development and carbon dioxide emission reduction should be unified into high-quality development, and high-quality development should be achieved through scientific innovation, technological innovation and ecological improvement of carbon sequestration.

  Which industries should China focus on to achieve its dual carbon goals?

How should high-quality development achieve carbon peak and carbon neutrality?

  Ma Aimin emphasized that achieving carbon peaking and carbon neutrality should be an important part of high-quality development, to achieve the decoupling of economic development and carbon emissions; to achieve a lower peak of carbon emissions, and to reduce carbon emissions steadily and continuously.

Before reaching the peak, it is necessary to gradually reduce the growth rate of carbon emissions. After reaching the peak, it is necessary to avoid a long plateau period and excessive and excessive "oscillation".

"The key to achieving the dual-carbon goal lies in the energy sector. It is necessary to build a clean, low-carbon, safe and efficient modern energy system based on non-fossil energy and electricity as the mainstay, so as to realize the electrification of energy and the decarbonization of electricity."

  Lei Yalin, vice president of Beijing University of Chemical Technology, put forward his views on the chemical industry, saying that China's chemical industry is currently facing greater challenges. The chemical and metal smelting industries are major carbon emitters, and the two industries together account for more than 20% of China's total carbon emissions.

For the carbon-neutral development path of the chemical industry, the technical route should be adjusted to reduce the carbon emission intensity of the entire industrial chain, adopt a circular economy model, and increase the recycling rate of solid waste; in addition, further increase the use of new-generation artificial intelligence technology in petrochemicals. Upgrading and utilization of the field is also crucial.

  According to Dong Suocheng, chief researcher of the Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resources Research of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the dual-carbon problem is a systemic problem based on energy, which is diverse and complex, and involves many aspects of the economy and society, such as energy conservation and environmental protection, industry, construction, and transportation. , Social consumption, etc.

To deal with the dual-carbon issue from near to far, the focus is on "energy saving and emission reduction", "adjustment of energy structure", and "development of carbon technology and carbon market."

  He went on to say that in terms of emission reduction, it specifically involves two major parts: the supply side and the demand side. The supply side will focus on the power system to promote energy structure adjustment and transformation and upgrading; the demand side will focus on industry and take multiple measures, including Industrial structure adjustment, energy saving, material recycling, use of low-emission raw materials, etc.

While reducing emissions, the strengthening of carbon technologies such as the absorption, capture and utilization of carbon dioxide and the development of carbon markets should also be gradually explored more actively.