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Letter from China: The carbon-neutral battle

It is not as simple as Beijing setting course and all other actors falling into line

Last month’s commitment by Chinese president Xi Jinping to make China carbon-neutral by 2060 underlines how the world’s biggest carbon emitter is taking the global fight against climate change seriously. But to deliver on his promise Xi will first need to win another struggle of equal importance—overcoming entrenched fossil fuel interests. Fossil fuels have powered China’s economic surge over the past 30 years, but the continued combustion of coal, oil and gas is fundamentally at odds with Xi’s net-zero pledge. Reaching carbon-neutrality will require the world’s leading polluter to kick its addiction to fossil fuels—particularly coal—while building unprecedented amounts of wind and solar ca

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