fredag 5. mars 2021

China's five-year plan for economy is crucial to meeting net zero by 2060

China is to publish a new blueprint for its economy on Friday, with vast implications for the future of the planet – including whether the goals of the Paris climate agreement are likely to be met. The five-year plan, of which this will be the 14th since 1953, forms the cornerstone of economic governance for the one-party state, and sets out social and environmental aspirations as well as GDP and industrial targets.

China is the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, as well as the second biggest economy after the US. Global carbon emissions must halve by the end of this decade to have a chance of holding global heating well below 2C above pre-industrial levels, as set out in the Paris accord, so China’s role will be decisive.

Nicholas Stern, the climate economist, told the Guardian: “The investments of this decade, particularly in infrastructure, will determine whether we have any chance of keeping to the Paris targets. China will be a focal point for economic growth in this crucial decade … [the plan] is of absolutely central importance to the world’s future.”