China’s cabinet has outlined measures to achieve its goals of reaching peak carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 and carbon neutrality before 2060 but says food and energy security must be considered amid those efforts.
The statement came as severe energy shortages in China threaten to overshadow the government’s efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions just as countries prepare for a new round of climate talks in Glasgow starting on October 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,” a cabinet document published by official media Xinhua said.
It also called for an effective response to the economic risks of green and low-emissions 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.