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China’s President Xi Jinping will talk to world leaders via video link at COP26

Headlines 14:36 29 Oct, 2021

Mr Xi has avoided foreign travel since before the coronavirus pandemic began in early 2020

China’s President Xi Jinping will talk to world leaders via video link at COP26

Mr Xi has avoided foreign travel since before the coronavirus pandemic began in early 2020.

On Thursday, China formally submitted its climate goals, pledging to reach peak emissions of CO2 before 2030 and achieve "carbon neutrality", or using forests and other measures to absorb as much carbon as it emits, by 2060.

The document included targets previously announced by Mr Xi but set no additional goals.

“It’s not surprising, but it is disappointing that there wasn't anything new” in terms of goals, said Joanna Lewis, an expert in China, climate and energy at Georgetown University.

Ms Lewis said the document “gave more detail about China will meet those goals,” however, by measures including increasing its wind and solar power capacity, as well as carbon-absorbing forest cover.

Climate experts say key questions about China's future carbon emissions remain unanswered.

“The document gives no answers on the major open questions about the country’s emissions,” said Lauri Myllyvirta, lead analyst at the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air in Helsinki. “At what level will emissions peak and how fast should they fall after the peak?”