On the Yangtze River  in Chongqing, China.
Chongqing (China) On the Yangtze River in Chongqing, China. © Kevin Arnold

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TNC statement on China and E.U. pledges

In response to recent announcements from China and the European Union on emission reductions, The Nature Conservancy’s CEO, Jennifer Morris, issued the following statement:

“The Nature Conservancy applauds China’s pledge at the United Nations to peak emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060, as well as the European Union’s recent pledge to strengthen its climate change commitments under the Paris Agreement up to a 55 percent reduction by 2030. These announcements by two of the world’s largest economies set the stage for what will hopefully be many other countries around the globe increasing their ambition to confront climate change.

“China’s commitment to become carbon neutral by 2060 marks the first time China has committed to a carbon neutrality timeline. In doing so, China has sent a strong signal to orient China’s economy toward a low-carbon and sustainable future. The signal that China will soon adopt more vigorous policies to increase its contributions to the Paris Agreement is a welcome move in the right direction.

“China’s announcement affirms the critical role of conserving and restoring natural resources as China strives to aggressively combat climate change. China has provided important leadership in recent years on Nature-Based Solutions to climate change. As it strives to meet its emissions targets, natural systems including well-managed forests, grasslands, agriculture and coastal ecosystems can make critical contributions, while also increasing resilience against the worst impacts of climate change. 

“One of the most important aspects of the EU’s target is that it is expected to be incorporated into the proposed new European Climate Law. This legal incorporation give the target more strength at home, makes it more likely to be achieved, and underlies the EU’s continued global leadership ahead of the next UN climate conference (COP26).

“As the world struggles to combat a global pandemic, these pledges by China and the EU remind us that countries cannot afford to lose focus on the long-term health and economic risks posed by climate change. TNC will continue to support our counterparts globally to achieve carbon neutrality, including through the use of Nature-Based Solutions.”

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 79 countries and territories, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.