President Xi Jinping reaffirms China's Climate Commitment

EDF statement from Fred Krupp, President

September 23, 2020
Jennifer Andreassen Burke, + 1 (202) 288-4867,

(NEW YORK – Sept. 23, 2020) In remarks by video to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, President Xi Jinping announced that China would strengthen its pledge under the Paris climate agreement, and aim to peak emissions by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060. President Xi’s announcement comes days after Europe announced a plan to reduce emissions by at least 55% from 1990 levels by 2030. President Xi also called for “innovative, coordinated, green and open development for all” concepts to promote the green recovery of the global economy.”President Xi’s latest comments are an important signal from Beijing, and present a dramatic contrast to the abdication of leadership in Washington.

“This could be another milestone in China’s efforts to address its contribution to climate change. By setting peak emissions targets and with the goal of reaching carbon neutrality, China’s long-term vision for tackling climate change by the middle of this century has become clear. If that vision becomes a reality, it will represent an enormous step toward what the world needs to avoid the most dangerous impacts of climate change.

“With President Trump on the verge of pulling America of out the Paris Agreement, the world badly needs leadership on climate. Alongside the EU’s announcement of an ambitious 2030 target, China’s pledge to strengthen its Nationally Determined Contribution under the Paris Agreement could help provide that leadership and provide the impetus needed for more countries to consider updating their own commitments.

“The foundations laid during the recent EU-China dialogue pave the way for greater cooperation going forward. A step up on climate action from China, Europe and the U.S., which together account for more than half the world’s emissions, would be a real game changer. We now have two of the three out of the gate. America needs to get back in the fight.”

  • Fred Krupp, President, Environmental Defense Fund


  • President Xi Jinping announced at the 75th Session of the UN General Assembly on Sept. 22 “China will scale up its Intended Nationally Determined Contributions by adopting more vigorous policies and measures. We aim to have CO2 emissions peak before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060.”
  • Europe announced a plan to reduce emissions by at least 55% from 1990 levels by 2030 following the EU-China dialogue.

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