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Zero CO2 emissions for an ultra-large city by 2050: case study for Beijing

He, Chenmin, Jiang, Kejun, Chen, Sha, Jiang, Weiyi, Liu, Jia
Current opinion in environmental sustainability 2019 v.36 pp. 141-155
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, carbon, carbon dioxide, carbon sequestration, case studies, electric vehicles, energy, energy industry, greenhouse gas emissions, heat, models, zero emissions, China
In order to reach the 1.5 °C target adopted by the Paris Agreement, the world must reduce CO2 emissions to zero by around 2050. In this paper, the Integrated Energy and Environment Policy Assessment Model for China (IPAC) modeling team analyzed the feasibility of this emission scenario for China, which is an important step in producing an effective action plan. We picked an ultra-large city to be a case study in order to understand the pathway to zero emissions by 2050 and to provide support for the national zero emissions scenario by 2050. Beijing is a growing city with rapid development in economic activities. This study evaluated the future development pattern for Beijing, and the possibility of it becoming a zero emissions city through a detailed analysis of its transport, building and industry sectors, as well as the space heating sector which is prominent in China's northern region. Key technology advances, such as the electric vehicle, zero-emissions space heating and carbon capture and storage (CCS) and so on, were studied to understand the feasibility of turning Beijing into a zero-emissions city by 2050, which is less than 35 years away. The IPAC model was used to quantify the emission scenario pathway for Beijing. The additional investment required by the energy industry was also obtained. Based on the results, zero carbon emissions in Beijing by 2050 is feasible.