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The Bao Steel mill in the morning, in Baotou, Inner Mongolia, China. Photo: Ryan Pyle/Corbis via Getty Images

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.

Go deeper

The U.S.-China split in space

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

China and the U.S. don't collaborate in space —a decades-old divide that is shaping the future of both nations' space programs.

Why it matters: U.S. semiconductor companies and those in other sectors are under pressure — from politicians and consumers — to become less reliant on China. The record of the nations' parallel ambitions in space shows what the U.S. gains and loses when it cuts China off.

America's Chinese communities struggle with online disinformation

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Disinformation has proliferated on Chinese-language websites and platforms like WeChat that are popular with Chinese speakers in the U.S., just as it has on English-language websites.

Why it matters: There are fewer fact-checking sites and other sources of reliable information in Chinese, making it even harder to push back against disinformation.