Despite unprecedented challenges, China will still be able to make its ambitious climate targets reality while realizing economic prosperity by fully tapping into its advantages, a senior expert said.
Liu Shijin, deputy director of the Economic Affairs Committee of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, made the remarks in a seminar on Xi Jinping Thought on Ecological Civilization in Chengdu, Sichuan province, on Tuesday.
The first of its kind held by the Research Center for Xi Jinping Thought on Ecological Civilization after it was established in July, the seminar attracted about 260 participants from research institutions, universities, associations, enterprises and media.
China aims to peak carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and go carbon-neutral before 2060. The country has also vowed to increase its per-capita GDP to the level of a moderately developed country by 2035.
That is to say, with little growth in per-capita carbon dioxide emissions and even decrease, China will have to increase per-capita GDP from its current level of about $10,000 to between $30,000-40,000, he said.
"This is something developed economies have never experienced. In human history, it's unprecedented," he stressed.
Developed nations peaked their emissions through a development path of high emissions and economic growth. China, however, must take a path of low emissions and high economic growth.
"It's a path with formidable challenges and huge pressure", he said, but China also has some advantages that will help it succeed.
The ever-expanding market in China, for example, is more favorable for developing business modes that could greatly boost green technology innovation and applications, he said.
Generally, China doesn't lag far behind developed nations on green technology development, he said. In some sectors, China even leads the world, he added, citing photovoltaic power generation and new energy vehicles as examples.
It's possible China will manage to develop its comparative advantages in the transition, he said.
Liu also stressed the role of China's institutional advantages in facilitating green development, saying the strong capabilities of Chinese governments at different levels in organizing, coordination and implementation will help form social consensus and offer strong policy support.