An aerial photograph taken on August 19, 2020 shows a wind turbine in the Jiucaiping scenic spot in Guizhou Province, southwestern China. [Photo/Xinhua]
Actively addressing global warming, increasing energy and resource efficiency, and promoting energy conservation and carbon emission reductions are key drivers of national green and low carbon transformation.
China has firmly tackled a green, low-carbon path to development with concrete action.
“China aims to peak CO2 emissions by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060,” said President Xi Jinping at the 75th General Assembly of the United Nations General Assembly last September. Announced through. A year later, he reiterated China’s carbon peak and neutral goals in a general debate at the 76th meeting of the UN General Assembly.
Carbon peaks and neutral goals have set out a blueprint for China’s green and low carbon transformation over the coming decades.
On October 24, the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party and the National Council jointly published a document entitled “Working Guidance for Carbon Dioxide Peaks and Carbon Neutral in the Complete and Faithful Implementation of the New Development Philosophy”.
This document provides a timeline of key specific goals and measures to achieve carbon peak and carbon neutral goals: establishing a clean, low carbon and cyclical economy, improving energy efficiency and non-fossilization. Increasing the share of energy consumption, reducing carbon dioxide emissions and integrating and improving the carbon absorption capacity of the economy. Carbon sinks absorb more carbon than they emit from the atmosphere, such as forests and oceans.
In the ongoing green and low carbon science and technology revolution, achieving carbon peak and neutral goals requires relying on low carbon technology and a well-functioning science and technology innovation governance system.
Science and technology innovation constitutes a major productivity. Achieving a country’s green, low-carbon transformation requires constant improvement of the national governance system for technological innovation. This will create an environment that supports the research and development and application of low-carbon technologies.
The term “National Innovation System” was coined by economist Bengt Ake Lundval in the early 1980s and consists of elements such as innovation themes, innovation infrastructure, innovation resources, innovation environment, and interaction with the outside world. Emphasizes the collective system. This theory is widely used in building a low carbon science and technology innovation governance system in China.
In China, governments, research institutes, universities, think tanks, state-owned enterprises and private enterprises of all levels are actively participating in green and low carbon transformation. This year marks the beginning of China’s 14th Five-Year Plan Period (2021-2025), which places particular emphasis on the importance of the science and technology revolution and science and technology innovation and the role of strategic support in China’s green transformation. I have it.
In addition, the road to carbon peaking and carbon neutrals drives synergistic innovation through close collaboration between various innovation entities such as governments, industries, research institutes and universities. Under government guidance, many research institutes and universities are actively contributing to China’s major national strategies by voluntarily adjusting and optimizing the subject system. It aims to play a leading role in making significant advances in the basic theories and key technologies of tackling climate change and achieving carbon neutrality.
To date, there have been more than 50 industry-academia-research strategic alliances focused on carbon neutrality in China.
“China attaches great importance to science and technology innovation and is working to promote global cooperation in science and technology innovation,” said Xi, who opened the 2021 Zhongguancun Forum on the theme of “intelligence and health.” The ceremony gave a speech via the video link. And carbon neutral. ” Therefore, strengthening international cooperation will help China accelerate its pace of achieving its carbon peak and carbon neutral goals.
The European Union, a world leader in green and low-carbon transformation and the pursuit of carbon neutrality, has been China’s most important partner as China has cooperated twice on low-carbon cooperation. Carbon program. The European Commission launched the European Green Deal in December 2019, promising to transform Europe into the first carbon-neutral continent by 2050 through a series of low-carbon policies, regulations and institutional innovations.
In July, the European Commission adopted a legislative package called “Fit for 55” as part of the European Green Deal. Its purpose is to get the block on track to meet its ambitious emission reduction targets. This package aims to comprehensively revise and expand the EU Emissions Trading System and protect the EU industry from “carbon leaks” of production to other regions that are weaker than the EU and therefore have lower operating costs. Includes the establishment of a carbon boundary adjustment mechanism. Environmental standards.
The new EU policy presents opportunities and challenges for China to achieve its own carbon peak and carbon neutral goals. China-EU cooperation in the green and low carbon sector will accelerate the realization of China’s carbon goals in line with the development of sound and stable bilateral relations in the long run.
On the other side of the equation, new legislation, regulations and mechanisms announced by the EU to achieve carbon-neutral goals could pose new challenges to bilateral relations. For example, the EU plans to begin imposing carbon boundary taxes on carbon boundary adjustment mechanisms in 2026 for industries at high risk of carbon leaks, such as steel, cement, fertilizer, aluminum, and power generation. Such taxes will inevitably increase adaptation costs in economic and trade cooperation between China and the EU.
Therefore, if China wants to have preemptive opportunities and strategic initiatives to reach its carbon peak and carbon-neutral goals, it emphasizes the important support role of science and technology innovation in low-carbon development and is sufficient. It is necessary to utilize it.
The author is a professor at the European Institute of Social Sciences of China.
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