In 2025, the IPCC report says, we must reach the peak of global emissions and then the curve will have to plummet by 43% by 2030 from 2010 levels, if we are to have any chance of stemming the climate emergency. To do this, we need to increase investment in the energy transition three to six times, otherwise it will be impossible to achieve the targets set for 2030.
The signal from China
To this end, it is essential, the report specifies, to launch policies to support the transition and change our lifestyles, which would improve our health and well-being, as well as cut emissions by 40-70% by 2050.
On this front, the first signs are there. In China, emissions fell by 8% in the second quarter of 2022. A record figure, the highest in at least ten years now, both in relative and absolute terms. Which has been extending a downhill curve for a year now. And it also exceeds the decrease recorded in the first three months of 2020, when Beijing had suffered the worst blow with the lockdowns for Covid-19.
The causes are different, partly related to the rush of clean energy and partly due to the intertwining of the energy crisis and pandemic. “The latest quarterly decline was determined by the continued housing collapse, the severe Covid control measures, the weak growth in electricity demand and the strong growth in renewable production,” explains Lauri Myllyvirta in an analysis for Carbon Brief.
The two main items that drove Chinese emissions down are transport and cement. The output of the refineries fell by 11% between April and June, a sign of the weight that the lockdowns for Covid-19 have had on vehicular traffic, more and more numerous with the Zero Covid policy desired by President Xi Jinping.