China mega city from the sky

RMI and ETC Salute China’s Pre-2060 Carbon Neutral Pledge

Despite the global challenge presented by the COVID-19 crisis, China shows confidence, courage, and firm leadership towards green recovery and sustainable development.

Boulder, CO and London, UK—September 23, 2020

Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) and Energy Transitions Commission (ETC) salute the new climate goal announced yesterday by Chinese President Xi Jinping to achieve carbon neutrality before 2060. In remarks made at the general debate of the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly, President Xi noted that the country will scale up its Intended Nationally Determined Contributions by adopting more vigorous policies and measures in order to achieve peak CO2 emissions before 2030.

As a major greenhouse gas emitter, China’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions are of strategic importance to the global economy and ultimately to the fulfilment of the Paris Agreement goals. Over the past decade, China has made remarkable progress in addressing the challenge of climate change, particularly in low-carbon energy development. This pledge further demonstrates China’s determination to keep its commitments to the Paris Agreement and lead global climate action in the post-COVID era.

“It is great, encouraging news that China has put a clear commitment on the table to achieve net zero emissions before 2060, which is a technically and economically feasible goal,” said RMI CEO Jules Kortenhorst. “We should move forward with the implementation to electrify as much as possible of the economy, which requires cleaning up the power sector, dramatically increasing efficiency, and further reducing the emissions in the harder-to-abate sectors.”

Last year RMI and ETC co-launched the report China 2050: A Fully Developed Rich Zero-Carbon Economy. The report identified that achieving net-zero carbon emissions is technically and economically feasible for China by 2050.

“President Xi’s commitment that China will peak emissions before 2030 and aim for carbon neutrality before 2060 is a huge step forward in the fight against harmful climate change and a welcome example of responsible global leadership,” said Adair Turner, Chair, Energy Transitions Commission. “Strong policies and large investments will be needed to achieve the mid-century objective, but our China 2050 report shows that it is clearly attainable. The priority now is to ensure that actions in the 2020s and in particular in the 14th Five-Year Plan, achieve rapid progress towards the twin goals.”

“Today’s announcement by President Xi Jinping that China intends to reach carbon neutrality before 2060 is big and important news—the closer to 2050 the better. His announcement that China will start down this road right away by adopting more vigorous policies is also welcome,” said Todd Stern, former US Special Envoy for Climate and RMI board member.

“We are very excited to see this ambitious goal committed to by China’s president. RMI is committed to work with key stakeholders to promote China’s energy transition and low-carbon development. The most urgent task in the next step is to identify a practical and feasible technical pathway to achieve the carbon neutrability goal and support China’s sustainable and high-quality development,” said Ting Li, regional managing director and chief representative, RMI Beijing Representative Office.

Media Inquiries please contact:
Rebecca Cole, Rocky Mountain Institute
Telephone: +1 303-704-3009

Caroline Randle, Energy Transitions Commission
Telephone: +44 (0)7796 140461

About Rocky Mountain Institute
Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI)—an independent nonprofit founded in 1982—transforms global energy use to create a clean, prosperous, and secure low-carbon future. It engages businesses, communities, institutions, and entrepreneurs to accelerate the adoption of market-based solutions that cost-effectively shift from fossil fuels to efficiency and renewables. RMI has offices in Basalt and Boulder, Colorado; New York City; the San Francisco Bay Area; Washington, D.C.; and Beijing.

More information on RMI can be found at or follow us on Twitter @RockyMtnInst.

About the Energy Transitions Commission
The Energy Transitions Commission (ETC) is a global coalition of leaders from across the energy landscape committed to achieving net-zero emissions by mid-century, in line with the Paris climate objective of limiting global warming to well below 2°C and ideally to 1.5°C. Our commissioners come from a range of organisations – energy producers, energy-intensive industries, technology providers, finance players and environmental NGOs – which operate across developed and developing countries and play different roles in the energy transition. This diversity of viewpoints informs our work: our analyses are developed with a systems perspective through extensive exchanges with experts and practitioners.

For further information please visit the ETC website: