China submits updated climate pledges to United Nations

China aims to see its carbon dioxide emissions peak by 2030 and to become carbon neutral before 2060

  
Image used for illustrative purpose. Apartment buildings rise into the skyline June 29, 2015 in Chengdu, China. First inhabited more than 4 thousand years ago, Chengdu now has more than 14 million people living in its metropolitan area.

Image used for illustrative purpose. Apartment buildings rise into the skyline June 29, 2015 in Chengdu, China. First inhabited more than 4 thousand years ago, Chengdu now has more than 14 million people living in its metropolitan area.

Getty Images/John Moore

SHANGHAI- China has submitted updated nationally determined contributions (NDCs) to fight climate change, a UN registry showed on Thursday, formally boosting headline emission-cutting pledges but offering nothing new ahead of climate talks in Glasgow.

The submission documents, published on the website of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), showed that China aims to see its carbon dioxide emissions peak before 2030 and to become carbon neutral before 2060, enshrining earlier pledges made by President Xi Jinping.

China, the world's biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, also formalised a commitment to raising the share of non-fossil fuels in its primary energy consumption to 25% by 2030, higher than a previous pledge of 20%, and increasing wind and solar power capacity to more than 1,200 gigawatts.

NDCs are non-binding national climate change plans that must be submitted regularly to the United Nations as part of the 2015 Paris Agreement, with countries expected to "enhance ambition" if they are able to do so.

Some experts had been hoping for more from China, however, ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, which begins on Sunday.

Li Shuo, a policy adviser at Greenpeace China, said Beijing's lack of new pledges "casts a shadow on the global climate effort."

"In light of the domestic economic uncertainties, the country appears hesitant to embrace stronger near term targets, and missed an opportunity to demonstrate ambition," Li said in emailed comments.

(Reporting by David Stanway and Tom Daly; Editing by Hugh Lawson) ((tom.daly@thomsonreuters.com; +86 10 5669 2119;))


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