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Research Platform Launched for China’s 2035 and Longer-Term Decarbonization Strategies

On July 6, 2021, the Institute of Climate Change and Sustainable Development (ICCSD) at Tsinghua University launched the Research Platform for Low Carbon Development Strategies in China for 2035 and Longer-Term in the Context of Carbon Neutrality, with support from Energy Foundation China (EF China). The platform’s first academic salon was attended by nearly 100 experts, scholars, and industry representatives, who exchanged views on the current situation and future research priorities of decarbonization strategies of different fields.

Nearly 100 experts, scholars, and industry representatives attended the launching event of the research platform for China’s 2035 and longer-term decarbonization strategies on July 6, 2021.
Photo by ICCSD

This platform will facilitate academic exchanges among researchers studying China’s low carbon development strategies for 2035 and longer-term. As the flagship project of EF China’s Long-Term Strategy for Decarbonization Task Force in 2021, it aims to design a roadmap for China’s low carbon transition, with technological, economic, and policy proposals that will potentially help China achieve its goals early for carbon neutrality, Nationally Determined Contributions, and the 14th Five-year Plan (FYP). The Long-Term Strategy for Decarbonization Task Force established in 2018 is committed to helping China explore a multi-win long-term low greenhouse gas emission development pathway. Together with ICCSD in January 2019, it launched China’s first comprehensive research targeting at net-zero emissions, which provided technical support for China’s transition strategy to long-term low-carbon development.

Ji ZOU, CEO and President of EF China, thanked ICCSD for its contribution to that pivotal study and congratulated participating research teams on their achievements. “Based on your findings earlier, this follow-up study for 2035 and longer-term development strategies will explore the pathway toward carbon neutrality after China peaks its carbon emissions, with comprehensive research topics across disciplines and departments,” he said. “I expect from this study innovative solutions for carbon neutrality in China and even the world as a whole, and lay a solid research foundation for the humanity’s aspirations for a climate-friendly, sustainable future.”

Ji ZOU, CEO and President of EF China
Photo by ICCSD

Jiankun HE, Director of ICCSD’s Academic Board, explained the overall design of the research platform, before he thanked the researchers of various fields for their dedication and EF China for its support. He said findings of the previous study on China’s long-term low carbon development strategies and pathways released by ICCSD in 2020 provided scientific evidence when China established its 2030 carbon peaking and 2060 carbon neutrality goals. He also said that looking into the future—2030 as the first year of the 16th FYP period and 2035 as the target year for reaching China’s first stage objectives for modernization—all energy end-users, sectors, and industries shall identify their pathways toward carbon neutrality and contribute to the big picture.

Jiankun HE, Director of ICCSD’s Academic Board
Photo by ICCSD

Zheng LI, ICCSD’s Executive Vice President, described their outline for the research. “China has incorporated carbon peaking and neutrality goals into its overall vision for socio-economic development, and there is a strong will to make the goals a reality across the country. Our study is designed to transform the will into a feasible strategic pathway,” he said. “It is a great honor for ICCSD to serve as the secretariat of the research platform. We will join hands with the various research teams to move our research to a next level.”

Zheng Li, ICCSD’s Executive Vice President of the ICCSD
Photo by ICCSD

At the academic salon, Xiliang ZHANG, Director of the Institute of Energy, Environment, and Economy at Tsinghua University, Zhiyu TIAN, Vice Director of the Energy Efficiency Center of the Energy Research Institute, National Development and Reform Commission, Jie GUO, Research Fellow of the China Academy of Transportation Sciences, and Wenjuan DONG, Associate Research Fellow of ICCSD, reviewed the findings of their ongoing study on low carbon development strategies of energy, industry, transportation, and power sectors for 2035 and 2060, and exchanged their views on future research priorities. They also discussed on the characteristics, challenges, and other important topics related to the achievement of carbon neutrality in their respective sectors.

Going forward, EF China’s Long-Term Strategy for Decarbonization Task Force of EF China will continue to advance the research series for China’s low carbon development strategies and pathways, and enhance interdisciplinary academic exchanges and integration for better technical support.

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