China car sector falling short of ‘net zero’ goals: Greenpeace

Environmental group says China must cut emissions by at least 20 percent by 2035 to reach net zero by 2060.

China car sector
Greenpeace says China's vast car sector is not on track to meet the country's 2060 "net zero" target [File: Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters]

China’s enormous car sector is on track to bring its climate-warming carbon dioxide emissions to a peak by 2027, but on current trends, it is unlikely to meet the country’s 2060 “net zero” target, environment group Greenpeace said.

The sector’s total carbon emissions are likely to plateau at 1.75 billion tonnes, and will steadily drop 11 percent by 2035, Greenpeace estimated in a report on Tuesday.

But it will need to cut emissions by at least 20 percent by 2035 if it is to stay on track towards net zero by 2060, Greenpeace said.

China needs to bring zero-emissions vehicle sales to 63 percent by 2030 and 87 percent by 2035 if it is to meet its targets, the environmental group estimated.

“The ideal response is for car makers in China to completely phase out internal combustion engine vehicles by 2030,” said Bao Hang, project leader for Greenpeace Asia in Beijing.

Electric vehicles ‘mainstream’

China said in a 2021-2035 development plan for the sector that pure electric vehicles should make up 20 percent of sales by 2025 and then become the “mainstream” by 2035.

The country’s cabinet said in an action plan on bringing emissions to a peak last year that total new and clean energy vehicle sales should reach about 40 percent of the total by 2030.

Chinese sales of battery-powered electric vehicles, plug-in petrol-electric hybrids and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles grew 157.5 percent to 3.52 million units in 2021, official data showed.

Source: Reuters