China’s climate commitment: How is it significant?

News: China has announced significant climate change announcements at the virtual UN General Assembly in New York. Facts:
  • What has China announced? China would become carbon net-zero by the year 2060.
    • Net-zero: It is a state in which a country’s emissions are compensated by absorptions and removal of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.
      • Absorption can be increased by creating more carbon sinks such as forests while removal involves the application of technologies such as carbon capture and storage.
  • Other announcements: China has made a small but important change in China’s already committed target for letting its emissions “peak”, from “by 2030” to “before 2030”.That means China would not allow its greenhouse gas emissions to grow beyond that point.
  • Significance of China’s Commitment: China is the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases. It accounts for almost 30% of global emissions more than the combined emissions in the United States, the European Union, and India, the three next biggest emitters.
Additional Facts:
  • Other Countries Commitment: European Union has committed itself to a net-zero emission status by 2050. South Africa has also declared its intention to become carbon-neutral by 2050.
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