WASHINGTON, March 16 (Xinhua) -- China is "on the right track" in its policy framework, a renowned U.S. economist has said, highlighting China's objectives for developing technologies and the 2060 goal for de-carbonization.
China's "objectives for the technological development and the mid-century or 2060 aims for deep de-carbonization are on the right track," Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University, recently told Xinhua.
Sachs noted that China made several breakthroughs in 2020, such as containing COVID-19, ending extreme poverty, and in space exploration.
"Now China is pointing to new areas of technological advances," said Sachs. "A lot of new scientific institutes around the country, a lot of new research centers around the country, a clear message on sustainability."
Sachs, who is also a senior United Nations advisor, noted that China has been a great pioneer and a great leader in green technologies, providing low-cost photovoltaics, wind power and beyond to other countries.
China is also a pioneer and a leader in many digital applications, "which is also green because it allows for us to de-materialize many kinds of sectors of the economy with a lower ecological footprint, with a turn towards clean green electricity rather than fossil fuel use," he said.
"So it's for these reasons that China has both a motivation and a capacity to speed de-carbonization, because China is in the forefront in very exciting and ambitious technological advances combining renewable energy and digital technologies," said the economist.
Sachs added that he thinks China should aim to accelerate de-carbonization from a business perspective as well to bolster competitiveness in areas such as electric vehicles, artificial intelligence systems and smart grids.
"I think this is all pointing in the right direction and all grounds, not only for China's success, but for strengthening global initiatives like the Belt and Road Initiative, which could be a great, green sustainable initiative by bringing renewable energy and 5G technology throughout the Belt and Road countries," he said.
China could also be a global leader in protecting rural ecosystems, Sachs said. "We did not do a good job worldwide in protecting these rural ecosystems ... Now we know that our back is to the wall because we've destroyed so much biodiversity," he said.
"So what I would like to see in China is China's leadership in restoration of degraded lands ... building up places that were polluted, restoring habitat, restoring biodiversity is extremely important," Sachs said, noting the country's massive reforestation efforts in recent years.
China will hold the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity this year. "This is a tremendous opportunity for China's leadership on rural sustainability, the livelihoods of people in the rural areas, and the biodiversity and the ecosystems of the rural areas around the world," he said. Enditem