Several factors are playing key roles in producing carbon dioxide. These factors are industrial activities, population, the geography of a country, etc. China is the number one producer of carbon dioxide in the world. 25% of Chinese cities receive acid rain, 75% of lakes are polluted, and 1.6 million premature death in China is related to air pollution. On a global scale, less than one-third of carbon dioxide from fossil fuel combustion is released in China.
Knowing these facts, the academic community of China, the public, and the government are working together to initiate mitigation activities to reduce harm to the environment. In 2009, China announced its intention to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by at least 40% in 2020. Later, during the Paris Agreement negotiations, China agreed to reduce the emissions by at least 60% by 2030. This demands huge investments; which China is committed to undertaking. Last month, President Xi announced that China is targeting carbon neutrality before 2060.
One of the key actions that China initiated is afforestation i.e. recovering damaged forests or creating forests on lands that were not originally forested. In recent decades, China has planted billions of trees, which is seven million hectares of forests per year. This makes China the leading country in afforestation. More than one-fifth of China is covered by forests. According to recent research, in 2014, more than 10% of the carbon released in China was stored (sequestration) in forests. With the trend of China for planting trees, it is predicted that by 2033, an equivalent of a decade of carbon dioxide release will be stored in forests in China. This is a promising piece of information knowing the fact that China is investing in clean energy industries as well. Even a recent study has reexamined the efficiency of the recent afforestation in China to find that the power of forests has been underestimated. According to this research published in the Nature, around 36% of carbon released in China can be absorbed by the two massive carbon sinks in the southwest and northeast of China. Any single tree counts, even in green regions. Therefore, the continuation of the afforestation project along with the sustainable development followed by China can be a leap forward to fight against climate change and can be a good initiative for other countries with large carbon contributions.