As the Glasgow Climate Summit approaches, Euronews and CGTN brought together experts from Europe and China for a sort of debate on the path to carbon neutrality.
We know that greenhouse gas emissions must be drastically reduced around the world, and the entire planet must work together to achieve the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement. However, the thorny question is how to define and follow the path to these goals.
First, why carbon neutral? Is this the only acceptable goal? The answer is yes, says Diana Orge Vorsatz, professor of environmental sciences at the University of Central Europe in Vienna: “I really fear that our goal is carbon neutral, and that is not agreed upon. Climate stabilization at any level demands of us. Achieve net zero carbon emissions in the long term. In the long term, if humanity is to survive, we must abandon the use of fossil fuels.”
Many developed countries aim to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. However, China aims to do the same by 2060. “Why?” asks Wei Tian, CGTN presenter.
“I think China is taking a very practical and methodical approach to this issue because China is the biggest developing country in the world. In fact, if you do the math, the 2060 commitment is really bold.” Jianyu Zhang, executive director of the Bri Green Institute for Development, responds.
China’s growth, like that of many other countries, is largely driven by the presence of coal, considered by many to be the worst fossil fuel.
Euronews science correspondent Jeremy Wilkes asks how to solve the problem of coal, a technology from the last century, but what is driving all this growth and development. How can it be clean?
According to Changhua Wu, director of Jeremy Rifkin’s Office of China/Asia Affairs: “Coal, of course, unfortunately, we have to solve this problem as quickly as possible, and it’s already in the plan. But the most important thing is that, in fact, China. It is changing its national system.” Energy.”
“It’s not just about coal consumption,” says Dr. Zhang on the matter, “we need to look at the whole problem, because this is the global climate crisis that we are trying to solve.”
The transition to renewable energy sources has its own challenges. Currently, the share of renewable energies is around 20% of the European market. In the future, we should see 70%, 80% or more renewable energy. In this context, how do we manage energy consumption when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow enough?
Ajay Gambhir, Senior Researcher at the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment at Imperial College London, gives us an example of what this energy revolution will look like in practice: “In a few years we will be charging our cars and their batteries. . will return electricity to the grid. A number of energy companies are already experimenting with machine-to-grid technologies, so our cars will be a kind of mini-grid power plant and provide us with storage that way.”
We also need to focus on the built environment and readily available efficiency, says Professor Diana Orge-Forsatz: “We know, for example, how to build and modify buildings so that they are essentially power plants that generate more energy than they consume and all their In this way, we can reduce energy consumption by nine-tenths, 90%, simply through innovation, not expensive high-tech installations”.
Achieving carbon neutrality is a major challenge that involves significant changes in the way we generate energy for our world. However, if we want to stop the warming of our planet at any time in the future, this is simply a deliberate goal.