The 2023 Carbon Peak and Carbon Neutrality Forum and Shenzhen International Low Carbon City Forum, organized by the People’s Government of Shenzhen, will kick off in late November 2023 in Shenzhen.
Interpretation of Shenzhen Carbon Peak Implementation Plan
The “Shenzhen Carbon Peak Implementation Plan” (referred to as the “Implementation Plan” below) has been officially issued and implemented. Here is an interpretation of the key points for the “Implementation Plan”:
I. Background of the Implementation Plan
Achieving peak carbon emissions and carbon neutrality is a significant strategic decision made by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, as it coordinates both domestic and international situations with careful consideration. It also reflects the need to implement the new development concept, build a new development pattern, and promote high-quality development, it is aimed at addressing prominent resource and environmental constraints and ensuring the sustainable development of the Chinese nation. In 2021, at the national level, important documents, such as “Opinions on Fully and Accurately Implementing the New Development Concept and Promoting Carbon Peaking and Carbon Neutrality by the CPC Central Committee and the State Council” and the “Carbon Peaking Action Plan Before 2030,” were issued, providing a systematically planning and overall deployment for carbon peaking and carbon neutrality efforts. In 2022, Guangdong Province introduced the “Opinions on Fully and Accurately Implementing the New Development Concept and Promoting Carbon Peaking and Carbon Neutrality by the CPC Guangdong Provincial Committee and the People’s Government of Guangdong Province” and the “Guangdong Carbon Peak Implementation Plan”, systematically planning and organizing the “Carbon Peaking and Carbon Neutrality” initiatives for the entire province.
Shenzhen has been resolute in implementing the major policy decisions on carbon peaking and carbon neutrality made by the CPC Central Committee, the State Council, and the Guangdong Provincial Committee and Provincial Government, consistently adhered to the standards of a pioneer demonstration and actively constructed a “1+N” policy system. The “Implementation Plan” issued this time as the “1” in the “1+N” policy system, emphasizes a systematic perspective, focusing on the carbon peaking goal by 2030. It is based on Shenzhen’s development reality and aligns with the provincial implementation opinions and plans. It clarifies the overall requirements for Shenzhen’s carbon peaking work, presents directions, main targets and key tasks for green and low-carbon development in various sectors, systematically designs a unique, intelligent, and finely-grained carbon peaking path for the super-large city with Shenzhen characteristics.
II. General Objectives Proposed in the Implementation Plan
The “Implementation Plan” focuses on the two crucial periods for carbon peaking during the 14th Five-Year Plan and the 15th Five-Year Plan. It sets objectives for establishing a dual carbon emissions control system and controlling CO2 emissions per unit of regional GDP.
During the 14th Five-Year Plan period, the core competitive strength of the modern industrial system will significantly increase, a preliminary modern energy system will take shape, energy resource utilization efficiency will markedly improve, and green and low-carbon development in sectors such as industry, transportation, and urban-rural construction will achieve positive results. Green and low-carbon innovation capabilities will be significantly improved, the comprehensive transformation of production and lifestyle towards sustainability will be promoted. Shenzhen will establish and implement a dual-control system for carbon emissions will be as a national leader. By 2025, Shenzhen will ensure that CO2 emissions per unit of regional GDP meet the national and provincial targets, laying a solid foundation for the city’s carbon peaking.
During the 15th Five-Year Plan period, Shenzhen will become a national model for high-quality economic and social development, reach the world’s advanced level in energy resource utilization efficiency, achieve low-carbon development models in key areas, and widely apply green and low-carbon technologies. Green and low-carbon production and lifestyle choices will become the public conscious choice. Shenzhen will establish a well-defined, solid, and smoothly running dual carbon emissions control system. By 2030, Shenzhen’s level of control over CO2 emissions per unit of regional GDP will be at the forefront of the nation and the province, effectively achieving the carbon peaking goal by 2030.
III. Key Tasks Proposed in the Implementation Plan
The “Implementation Plan” introduces the “Ten Actions for Carbon Peaking” which focus on key areas and critical processes related to carbon emissions.
1. Green and Low-Carbon Energy Transformation Action: This action promotes measures to “control coal, reduce oil, increase gas, increase non-fossil sources, and deliver clean electricity”, it emphasizes reasonable control of coal and oil consumption, maximizes the role of natural gas, vigorously develops new energy sources, and builds a modern, intelligent power grid system.
2. Energy Efficiency and Carbon Reduction Enhancement Action: This action prioritizes energy conservation and resource savings, strengthens energy efficiency and carbon reduction management, encourages energy-efficient upgrades for key energy-consuming equipment, and enhances energy conservation in new infrastructure such as data centers and base stations. It also promotes coordinated pollution control and carbon reduction.
3. Green and Low-Carbon Industrial Development Action: This action adheres to the principles of industrial development, seizes opportunities for green transformation, builds a green development pattern in the industrial sector, facilitates digital empowerment for green industrial development, strengthens the construction of a green manufacturing system, and improves resource conservation and recycling.
4. Carbon Peaking Action in Transportation: This action focuses on optimizing the transportation structure, promoting the low-carbon transformation of transportation equipment, and accelerating the construction of green transportation infrastructure.
5. Green and Low-Carbon Urban and Rural Construction Action: , this action ensures that green and low-carbon requirements are implemented throughout urban and rural planning and construction management. It leads the way in low-carbon development and promotes the construction of new green buildings, implements energy-efficient and low-carbon renovations for existing buildings, continually optimizes energy utilization in buildings, and practices the concept of green and low-carbon urban management.
6. Technology Empowerment for Carbon Peaking: This action effectively leverages technological innovation to support carbon peaking efforts. It establishes a green technology innovation platform, attracts global green innovation talents, conducts research on key low-carbon technologies, proactively deploys cutting-edge low-carbon technologies, and promotes the transformation and application of innovative achievements.
7. Market Support for Carbon Peaking Action: This action acknowledges the market’s role in resource allocation. It strengthens the development of green trade markets, establishes a sound green investment and financing mechanism, and improves green pricing mechanisms.
8. Enhancing Carbon Sinks in Ecosystems: This action promotes ecological construction for “Shanhai Liangcheng Green and Beautiful Shenzhen”. It strengthens the carbon sequestration capacity of ecosystems, enhances forest carbon sinks, and explores the carbon sequestration potential of marine and wetland ecosystems.
9. Green and Low-Carbon Nationwide Participation Action: This action encourages the transformation of green and low-carbon concepts into actions by the entire society. It enhances ecological civilization education and propaganda, promotes green and low-carbon lifestyle choices, and reinforces corporate social responsibility.
10. Carbon Peaking Pilot Demonstrations Action: This action requires to remember the first demonstration mission, carry out multi-level pilot demonstrations in key sectors, regions, enterprises, communities, and public institutions.
IV. Key Measures Proposed in the Implementation Plan
The “Implementation Plan” issues a series of key measures to reinforce support for carbon peak through three areas: industrial development, regional cooperation, and organizational implementation.
1. Promoting Green and Low-Carbon Industrial Development by improving the policy system for green and low-carbon industries, facilitating the development of three major green and low-carbon industrial clusters—new energy, safe and energy-efficient environmental protection, and intelligent connected vehicles. It fosters new industrial models and formats and builds a world-class industrial ecosystem.
2. Extensive regional cooperation on four levels of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, partner cities, the Belt and Road Initiative, and internationalization. Cooperation in the “Carbon Peak and Carbon Neutrality” sector to achieve a win-win situation for all parties involved.
3. Effective Organizational Implementation by strongly supporting “Implementation Plan” through comprehensive planning, intelligent control systems, statistical monitoring systems, local regulation systems, fiscal and tax support, and evaluation and assessment mechanisms.
In the future, Shenzhen will continue to introduce a series of supporting policy documents based on the “Implementation Plan”. These documents will include action plans for key sectors such as energy, industry, transportation, urban construction, district-level energy conservation and carbon reduction, pollution reduction and carbon reduction, meteorology, standards and measurement, technological innovation, and carbon trading. These policies will form a well-structured, cohesive, and effectively coordinated policy system that will be consistently implemented. Shenzhen will actively and prudently work towards achieving carbon peaking and carbon neutrality.