China's challenging path to become "carbon neutral" by 2060
A new(ish) International Energy Agency analysis outlines the importance — and immense challenge — of China's pledge to become "carbon neutral" by 2060.
Why it matters: Its recommendations get to the scope of the tech deployment needed, and what a seismic shift it would represent for China's economy.
- "Achieving this goal of net-zero emissions would represent a milestone in modern Chinese history comparable to 1949," write IEA chief economist Laszlo Varro and An Fengquan, a senior adviser.
- "To do so, would require China to quickly embark on an ambitious multi-decade effort to transform its economy, as it did after 1978."
The big picture: The IEA says there are steep cuts needed to meet the pledge.
- Contributions of three broad technology categories — renewables, efficiency, and a bucket combining nuclear power, carbon capture and more — are needed to show the reductions.
Threat level: The piece not only describes the need to accelerate transformation of China's coal-heavy power sector, but also its huge heavy manufacturing industries, where the need for very high-temperature processes make it hard to replace fossil fuels.