FILE PHOTO: Birds fly over a closed steel factory where chimneys of another working factory are seen in background, in Tangshan
BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s cabinet on Sunday outlined measures to achieve its goals of reaching peak carbon emissions by 2030 and carbon neutrality before 2060 but said food and energy security must be considered amid those efforts.
The statement came as severe energy shortages in China threaten to overshadow Beijing’s efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions, just as countries prepare for a new round of climate talks in Glasgow starting on Oct. 31.
China should “manage the relationship between pollution reduction and carbon reduction and energy security, industrial supply chain security, food security and normal life of the people,” said a cabinet document published by official media Xinhua.
It also called for an effective response to the economic risks of green and low-carbon transition, to “prevent overreaction, and ensure safe carbon reduction”.
Climate watchers were hoping the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases could be persuaded to start cutting coal consumption earlier than its current target of 2026, but severe energy shortages have put the government under pressure to urgently step up production of the fuel.
(Reporting by David Stanway and Dominique Patton; Editing by Hugh Lawson and Susan Fenton)