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China beats 2020 carbon deadline early, official says

By Hou Liqiang | | Updated: 2020-09-25 17:29
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About 406 million metric tons of carbon emission allowances have been traded for 9.28 billion yuan ($1.36 billion) as of the end of August, making China the second-largest carbon trading market in the world, an environmental official said.

The allowances were traded in seven regions and cities, including Hubei and Guangdong provinces, where the market has been piloted since 2013, said Liu Youbin, spokesman with the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, during a news conference on Friday.

By the end of 2019, China has managed to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP by 48.1 percent from 2005 levels, and the share of nonfossil fuels in the country's primary energy consumption had increased to 15.3 percent, meaning the country has achieved the goals it committed to ahead of its 2020 deadline, he continued.

He also said China has topped the world as to the number of patents, investment, installed capacity and power generating capacity in renewable energy sector for several years. Over $100 billion has been annually invested into the sector for five straight years.

Liu made the comment following the announcement from President Xi Jinping that China aims to have its carbon dioxide emissions peak before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060 while addressing the general debate of the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly via video on Tuesday.

Carbon neutrality means the realization of net zero carbon dioxide emissions by stopping emissions, reducing emissions and removing emissions from nature.

"China will scale up its Intended Nationally Determined Contributions by adopting more vigorous policies and measures," Xi said.

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