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PKU's Institute of Carbon Neutrality to contribute to emissions targets
Mar. 20, 2023
Peking University, March 20, 2023: Peking University launched a new institute dedicated to carbon mitigation research on Wednesday, vowing to make full use of its advantages in both the humanities and science to contribute to the national goal of becoming carbon neutral.

The new Institute of Carbon Neutrality has 93 researchers from 21 schools, including the College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, the School of International Studies and the School of Government, said Piao Shilong, director general of the institute.

Eight of the researchers are academicians from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Engineering, he added.

China announced in September 2020 that it aims to reach peak carbon dioxide emissions before the end of this decade and carbon neutrality before 2060.

The institute will endeavor to create a talent training system to help meet those goals, Piao said and plans to offer doctoral degrees in science, engineering, law and economics that contain elements related to meeting the goals.

He said the institute will focus on six research areas, including climate change and carbon cycles, energy system engineering, climate legislation and global climate governance.

Han Qide, an academician at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and honorary president of the China Association for Science and Technology, expressed high expectations for the new institute as the humanities and science are strengths of Peking University.

"Carbon neutrality is not only a scientific, but also a social matter," he stressed.

A lot of work related to strategic planning, policymaking, social governance and international relations needs to be done to make the country's carbon targets a reality, he noted.

According to Han, 40 carbon neutrality institutes have been set up at universities across the country. If the Peking University institute can better promote the disciplinary integration of the humanities and science, it will surely contribute to carbon neutrality efforts.

While addressing the launch ceremony via video link, Fatih Birol, executive director of the International Energy Agency, said he looks forward to seeing the institute offer guidance to policymakers in China and beyond.

Lauding Peking University as a vital force for driving the country's development, Zhao Yingmin, vice-minister of ecology and environment, said he believes the institute will not only contribute to China's climate targets, but also play an important role in global efforts to create a clean and beautiful world.

The vice-minister said he expects the institute to usher in technological innovation to address national decarbonization needs, and accelerate efforts to train the talent needed.

He said he also hopes to see it develop into an institution with academic impact around the world, and play a role in interpreting China's climate action through international exchange.

This article originally appeared in China Daily with the headline "Institute to contribute to emissions targets"
China Daily
Written by:
Hou Liqiang