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30 November 2021
Carbon neutrality and socio-economic development
Carbon neutrality means a balance between emitted and absorbed carbon from the atmosphere in carbon sinks. Statistics from UNFCCC shows that more than 100 countries and regions have mentioned carbon neutrality, climate neutrality, net zero emissions or net zero carbon emissions in relevant documents, among which 29 countries have declared official commitments in formal channels, accounting for more than 50% of global carbon emissions. How to achieve carbon neutrality is a major issue for the world today. It is crucial pathway for the global realization of the 2 °C and 1.5 °C goals.
Most countries commit to achieve carbon neutrality in the middle of 21st century. On the Climate Ambition Summit 2020, China has announced its ambition to scale up its nationally determined contributions (NDC), adopt more vigorous policies to peak carbon dioxide emissions before 2030, and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060. Specific measures include lowering its carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP by over 65% from the 2005 level, increasing the share of non-fossil fuels in primary energy consumption to around 25%, increasing the forest stock volume by 6 billion cubic meters from the 2005 level, and bringing its total installed capacity of wind and solar power to over 1.2 billion kilowatts. Achieving these goals will produce extensive, important and sustained co-benefits, including reducing air pollution, improving health and safety, facilitating long-term technology innovation, and promoting environmental protection. Through concrete action plans formulation, China will contribute to the global fight against climate change by sharing the lesson learnt along its endeavour.
National commitments to achieving carbon neutrality or net zero are of extraordinary significance. It is a major way for countries to clearly propose a long-term decarbonization target and an important milestone of countries to participate in global governance of emissions mitigation. This special issue will focus on the impacts of carbon neutrality on the socio-economic system, as well as the role of economic methods in carbon neutrality strategies. Topics of interest of this special issue include, but are not limited to, the following:
- The socio-economic impacts of carbon neutrality
- The co-benefits of carbon neutrality
- The pathways to achieve carbon neutrality
- City pathway analysis
- Sector pathway analyses
- Carbon neutrality and SDGs
- Carbon neutrality and ESG
- Carbon neutrality and international trade
- Carbon neutrality policies at national and local levels
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