To limit the detrimental impacts of climate change, large-scale and rapid decarbonization is required. China announced their plan to peak carbon emissions before 2030 and to reach carbon neutrality by 2060, which faces many challenges including rising energy consumption and a significant, ongoing expansion of coal-based electricity generation capacity. This study employs mixed methods to explore a portfolio of climate policies related to the transport and energy sectors for two leading Chinese cities: Beijing and Hong Kong. A total of 32 expert interviews were conducted with four stakeholder groups in both cities to canvas opinions on the most important policies for decarbonization. With the aim to understand how local policy measures can be prioritized for disproportionately large emissions reductions, the Sensitive Intervention Points (SIPs) framework was applied to identify city-level policy interventions with the potential for high impact, speed, feasibility, persistence, and low risk, based on these expert interviews and literature review. With all attributes combined, leveraging the global cost declines in renewable energy was identified as a shared accelerated carbon neutrality pathway for both cities, facilitated by policies to promote the import of low-carbon energy and accelerating the electrification of transport. Alignments were found between this final list of SIPs and policies perceived as important by the experts, indicating that SIPs are generally intuitive, with alternative policy prioritizations likely influenced by additional factors such as the national agenda, budgetary constraints, and the availability of co-benefits.


Chung, S.Y., Ives, M., Allen, M., Doorga, J.R.S., Xu Y. (2024). 'Accelerating carbon neutrality in China: Sensitive intervention points for the energy and transport sectors in Beijing and Hong Kong', Journal of Cleaner Production, 450 (141681), https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2024.141681.
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