Australia’s resistance to a mid-century net zero emissions target is likely to become increasingly unsustainable after China surprised global leaders by pledging it would reach “carbon neutrality” before 2060, climate analysts and advocates say. The announcement by the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, at the UN general assembly on Tuesday means the world’s biggest emitter has a more ambitious long-term climate goal than Australia despite still being considered an emerging economy. Xi said China would update its Paris agreement commitments to carbon dioxide emissions peaking before 2030 and reaching “neutrality” – zero additional emissions into the atmosphere – by 2060. He called for a “green recovery of the world” from the Covid-19 pandemic and promised to introduce “vigorous policies”. It is the first time China, which is responsible for about half of global coal use and has driven much of the recent rise in emissions, has said it would end its net contribution to the climate crisis. It follows the European Union last week strengthening its Paris commitments, including pledging to cut emissions by 55% by 2030 compared with 1990 levels. The Australian prime minister, Scott Morrison, said on Sunday the government had committed to reach net zero emissions in the… Read full this story
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