The announcement is being celebrated as an achievement in the fight against climate change. But the target is akin to claiming victory after loss.
President Jinping said: “We aim to have CO2 emissions peak before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060.”
The BBC recklessly described the announcement as being “…seen as a significant step in the fight against climate change”, though the target falls short of an immediate need to switch to renewables.
President Jinping appears to be taking advantage of US reluctance to address Climate Change by paying lip service to a faulty target. China’s announcement at the UN general assembly only dampens prospects of recovering from ecological breakdown. Campaigners optimistic in the fight against climate decline should see this as a reason not to rejoice, but to pressure global leaders more.
By 2060, the Arctic will have experienced an iceless summertime for 20 years which will have terrifying consequences for humanity.
Most climatologists believe the target for irreversible climate change is 2040, but many agree it’s within the next few years.
China’s statement is not bold, but a punch in the gut for the next generation who will be burdened by the responsibility of thwarting mass-famine and natural disasters in an inhospitable world. Already we’re seeing the symptoms of climate denial and fossil fuel burning while celebrating an IPCC target that is buried under piles of bureaucracy and left/right wing election campaigning. Something must be done – and it should not be delayed until 2060.
For China to make effective change – carbon neutrality should be acted upon immediately. They have the capabilities to switch to solar, hydro and wind power – and with the resources at their disposal, the switch should be effortless.