SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China’s massive 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 on Tuesday.
The sector’s total carbon emissions are likely to plateau at 1.75 billion tonnes, and will steadily drop 11% by 2035, Greenpeace estimated in a research report.
But it will need to cut emissions by at least 20% 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% by 2030 and 87% 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.
China said in a 2021-2035 development plan for the sector in late 2020 that pure electric vehicles should make up 20% 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 around 40% 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% to 3.52 million units in 2021, official data showed.
(Reporting by David Stanway; Editing by Michael Perry)