China's pathway towards a net zero and circular economy: A model-based scenario analysis

YingYing Lu, Heinz Schandl, Heming Wang, Junming Zhu

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    The remarkable economic growth of China over recent decades has been accompanied by significant achievements in poverty reduction. However, this growth has also led to increased resource consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. It's now evident that addressing the triple challenges of climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution hinges in part on China's capacity to curtail its resource use and emissions. Our study utilises an integrated economic modelling framework to assess China's role in the global context. We evaluate ambitious policies in resource efficiency, GHG reduction, and land-use transformation within China. Our findings indicate that, under such ambitious policies, China could likely achieve peak material use and emissions by 2030 and attain net zero emissions by 2050. Moreover, our analysis underscores that China can play a pivotal role in helping achieve global climate goals in collaboration with the rest of the world. Implementing well-designed policies, including the adoption of a circular economy approach, might enable China to meet these environmental targets with minimised economic costs.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalResources, Conservation and Recyclcing
    Publication statusPublished - 2024

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