The decarbonization of road transport is an essential component of realizing broader climate targets, and globally, approximately 21% of anthropogenic CO2 emissions come from road transport. Over the past decade, China continuously rolled out regulations and policies to reduce fuel consumption from new cars and trucks and to shift to electric vehicles. During this time, the country experienced a spectacular flourishing of its electric vehicle market. Still, ICCT’s emissions modeling shows that the pace of progress must be accelerated going forward in order to meet the aforementioned commitments. As related in our recent study, extending the current policy mix at a “Low Ambition” rate of progress (see Figure 1) would only reverse the upward emissions trend in the near term, and emissions would then start increasing again. In contrast, introducing a combination of more ambitious but still practicable measures by 2035 (“High Ambition”) could put China on a near-term pathway (2020–2035) that’s compatible with its 2060 net-zero pledge. However, continued policy developments would be needed after 2035 to achieve emissions reductions of 70%–80% by 2050 and then reach near-zero emissions by 2060.
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