Cooling towers

China's net zero 2060 target requires comprehensive negative emissions technology

By Donna Lu

Cooling towers of a coal-fired power plant in Tongling, Anhui Province, China

Qilai Shen / Bloomberg via Getty Images

China's promise to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060 may depend on large amounts of greenhouse gases being extracted from the air – on the order of 2.5 gigatons of carbon dioxide per year.

Chinese President Xi Jinping announced the ambitious target at the UN General Assembly last month, stating that the country's goal was "to peak CO2 emissions by 2030."

To achieve this, technologies with negative emissions would have to be used on a large scale, for example the direct capture of carbon dioxide from the air.