The United Nations Environment Programme-International Ecosystem Management Partnership (UNEP-IEMP) successfully held its 7th Climate-Ecosystems-Livelihoods seminar titled “Climate change and low-carbon transition pathways” in the Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences on 22 August 2023. The seminar was given by Dr. Jing Meng, Professor of University College London, research fellow of Centre for Environment, Energy and Natural Resource Governance in Cambridge University, and facilitated by Mingxing Sun, senior researcher of UNEP-IEMP.
Under the background of pursuing sustainable development, Prof. Meng shared the current research results from three aspects. Firstly, based on the inventory analysis research, the impact of economic globalization and trade on carbon emissions is modeled. The reduction pressure and unfairness of carbon emissions caused by increased demand are calculated from the demand side, and the impact of multinational corporations on carbon emissions in the industrial chain is concerned from the company scale. Secondly, from the perspective of policy, the socio-economic factors affecting carbon emissions are discussed. Taking emerging economies in the Asia-Pacific region as an example, the heterogeneous roles of different energy policies in energy transition are compared. Finally, to explore how to achieve coordinated emission reduction of carbon and other pollutants, Prof. Meng pointed out that emission reduction requires the efforts of various industries, among which the path of emission reduction is more important. Emission reduction depends on technological progress. However, the current prediction model is difficult to accurately describe the development of technology. In the future, it is necessary to incorporate the uncertainty of technological development into the model and pay attention to developing countries.
During the interactive session, Prof. Meng answered questions about the effects of emission reduction policies in different countries and the embodied carbon emissions in the industry, and fully discussed with the participants on topics such as technology forecasting and policy formulation.
Low-carbon transformation is the way to promote sustainable development and achieve economic and environmental decoupling. It is closely related to the goal of UNEP-IEMP's Flagship Programme on Climate, Ecosystems, and Livelihoods (CEL) to adopt integrated approaches to achieve win-win of ecosystem protection and livelihood improvement. The seminar increases the understanding and thinking on how to achieve low-carbon transformation under the current social and economic background, builds a platform for interdisciplinary academic exchanges, and further strengthens the communication and exchange between the center and domestic and foreign scientific research institutions and universities.