Accelerating Low-Carbon Innovation Towards Carbon Peak and Neutrality

Accelerating Low-Carbon Innovation Towards Carbon Peak and Neutrality

Earlier this month, HKUST and Our Hong Kong Foundation (OHKF) co-presented a highly insightful webinar on China’s plan to accelerate towards low-carbon innovation to reach carbon peak and neutrality. This unique online event featured Mr XIE Zhenhua, China’s Special Envoy on Climate Change, as he shared China's plans and initiatives to achieve carbon peak by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2060. He also exchanged insights with other international climate experts and discussed how different nations could build a cooperative win-win global climate management system.

As climate change becomes a dangerous reality, the wellbeing of future generations and humanity’s survival are at stake. During his keynote speech, Mr XIE stressed these goals emphasized China’s determination to tackling climate change as a global issue. The bold move also signifies a momentous strategic decision of the Central Government to honor the Paris Agreement and to the world. However, the ambitious goal of carbon peak in just 30 years would take Herculean efforts to address the daunting challenges ahead.

Mr XIE also announced that the Central Government’s newly formed Central Leading Group will soon formulate and announce the “1+N” policy system to achieve carbon peak and carbon neutrality. The system would drive 10 crucial goals, including revolutionizing China’s energy systems, promoting the optimization of production industries, construction of low-carbon buildings and innovative low-carbon technology, as well as establishing green finance, and other policies and reforms.

To ensure China achieves carbon peak and neutrality, Mr XIE added that all national departments, local governments, and major industry players in China would have to set down clear timelines and roadmaps and take up their own responsibilities. Additionally, he highlighted the importance of the international community working together and developing a multilateral collaboration process. With over 190 countries signing the Paris Agreement to date plus an additional 130 nations and regions pledging towards carbon neutrality, Mr XIE concluded his speech by advocating for all countries working together regardless of their political agendas.

XIE’s keynote speech was followed by a panel of renowned international speakers, including former US Special Envoy for Climate Change Mr Todd STERN, Chairman of the UK Energy Transitions Commission Lord Adair TURNER, Distinguished Fellow at National University of Singapore’s Asia Research Institute Professor Kishore MAHBUBANI. The panel was moderated by Professor Christine LOH, Chief Development Strategist of Institute for the Environment of HKUST.