Addressing Climate Change: Experts, Including Michael B. McElroy, Discuss Ways for China to Hit Carbon Goals

May 12, 2021
solar power

This news item originally appeared on China Global Television Network (CGTN),  an English-language cable TV news service based in Beijing, China. Harvard-China Project Chair Michael B. McElroy comments during a carbon neutrality seminar, as chronicled below.

China is stepping up efforts to address the climate crisis with other nations. To achieve its goals, it's drawing on expertise from a broad range of areas. CGTN's Zheng Yibing paid a visit to an international seminar in Beijing aimed at bringing about sustainable solutions. 

With goals to reach peak carbon emissions by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2060, China faces historic challenges.

LIU YANHUA Director, National Expert Committee on Climate Change "The interval between both goals in China is 30 years, while that for the United States is 43 years, and for the European Union it's 71 years. So the time is really limited, and the pressure is huge."

Experts say there's no time to waste for China and other countries.

ZHOU DADI Member, National Expert Committee on Climate Change "The priority is to take the initiative, especially on peak carbon emissions. And there's no room to rely on high energy consumption products to increase GDP."

Experts say the key to achieving the targets lie in new energies.

MICHAEL B. MCELORY Chair of the Harvard-China Project "The future of low carbon energy systems will depend on a continuing expansion of the role of renewable energy."

China plans to increase its wind and photovoltaic power from 11-percent to about 16-point-5-percent of its total electricity consumption by 2025. And the country is exploring ways of making cost-effective hydrogen energy.

DANG YANBAO Chairman, Baofeng Energy Group "We use solar power to electrolyze water to make hydrogen which will replace the energy-producing materials we use now, such as coal. But currently the costs are still high, so we'll work with others to lower them."

China has recently been holding talks with other countries to address the climate crisis. The experts say getting the Paris Agreement back on track will be crucial for global cooperation.

LIU KE Dean of School of Innovation Entrepreneurship, Southern University of Science & Technology "We call it global warming, not local warming. So, I think you have to have the United Nations or other international organizations to enforce every country to do it. Otherwise it's just talking."

ZHENG YIBING Beijing "To address the climate crisis won't be an easy task for China and the world. But we can also see that with greater levels of awareness and cooperation across a broad range of areas, the path to carbon neutrality is becoming clearer and more feasible. Zheng Yibing, CGTN, Beijing."