Interview: China taking steps towards renewable energy transition, says expert

(Xinhua) 13:31, December 04, 2023

BARCELONA, Spain, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) -- China is taking steps toward the renewable energy transition as its government has been aware that reaching the maximum production of fossil fuels requires finding alternative sources of energy, said Jordi Sole, a Spanish climate change expert and professor at the University of Barcelona.

"That can be seen from China's recent policies and actions," Sole told Xinhua in an interview regarding the 28th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28) and China's role in fighting climate change.

Major economies, he said, are the main emitters of greenhouse gases and any action they take toward transitioning to renewable energy could have significant impacts.

Having industries that are difficult to decarbonize and being the factory of the world, whatever successful action China takes regarding the green transition, will "act as an example for the rest of the world on both a technological and socio-economic level," Sole said.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Friday that the United Nations positively evaluates China's efforts and important contributions to promoting peak carbon dioxide emissions and carbon neutrality.

In a speech delivered on Friday at the World Climate Action Summit in Dubai, Chinese Vice Premier Ding Xuexiang said that in 2022, China's emission intensity of carbon dioxide decreased by more than 51 percent from 2005. China's production and sales of new energy vehicles rank first in the world, accounting for more than half of the world's total with more than 18 million such vehicles in use. The installed capacity of non-fossil energy increased to 50.9 percent, said Ding.

He also called for the international community to accelerate green transformation, actively increase the proportion of renewable energy, promote the clean, low-carbon and efficient use of traditional energy, and accelerate the formation of green and low-carbon production methods and lifestyles.

As a major responsible developing country, China stands ready to work with all parties to build a clean and beautiful world, Ding said, adding that mankind shares a common destiny in the face of the challenges of climate change, and all parties should strengthen their determination and capacity to jointly address it.

COP28 is crucial as it aims to take stock of the progress made on the Paris Agreement and dramatically mitigate the negative effects of climate change around the world, said Sole.

COP28 will also focus on accelerating the transition to clean energy sources, drastically cutting greenhouse gas emissions before 2030, and providing poorer countries and developing nations with the necessary funds to tackle climate change, the professor added.

In his Friday's speech, Ding said that China has always kept its promise and made important contributions to global climate governance and vigorously promoted international cooperation on green development, energy revolution and climate change, and supported developing countries in enhancing their capacity to cope with climate change.

Sole said that the Dubai gathering will show "whether we're really moving towards strong commitments or whether it's a case of business as usual and, as always, we resign ourselves to the worst-case climate change scenarios."

"We need a clear commitment backed with concrete actions addressing what needs to be done," he said.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Liang Jun)


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