While the document detailed new measures on how the world’s biggest polluter will decarbonize, the country is not updating its pledge to reduce emissions.
Chinese President Xi Jinping hasn’t left China since the pandemic began and is unlikely to attend COP26 in person. The government has yet to announce details of its delegation to the summit.
The new guidelines, published in state news agency Xinhua, said China will gradually phase out its fossil fuel consumption. By 2030, China said the proportion of the energy it uses coming from non-fossil fuel sources will reach 25%. Thirty years later, China aims to have 80% of its total energy use coming from non-fossil fuels, the document said, according to Xinhua.
By 2030, China said its CO2 emissions per unit of GDP will fall by 65% compared with 2005 levels.
China is already a world leader in producing renewable energy but will need to ramp up its capacity in wind and solar to meet its climate targets. By 2030, China aims to have its total installed capacity of wind and solar power reach more than 1,200 gigawatts, Xinhua said.
Previously, China had pledged that renewables would make up 25% of its installed power capacity, and wind and solar to make up 16.5% of China’s energy by 2025.
To achieve its climate targets, China will carry out “in-depth industrial restructuring, accelerating the development of a clean, low-carbon, safe and efficient energy system” and ramp up the “construction of a low-carbon transportation system,” according to Xinhua.
However, China said it must ensure food and energy security as it decarbonizes. Beijing had pushed coal mines to curtail production earlier this year as the country pursued its ambitious targets to cut carbon emissions. But demand surged for projects that require fossil fuels, and there hasn’t been enough power to go around.
It said China should “respond to the economic, financial and social risks that may accompany the green and low-carbon transition” and prevent “overreaction and ensure safe carbon reduction.”
— CNN’s Yong Xiong, Laura He and Philip Wang contributed to this report.