Youth an important force in achieving carbon neutrality

By Yang Yang|| Updated: 2021-12-01

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Industrial leaders exchange ideas in Beijing on Nov 26, 2021. [Photo provided to]

Youth is an important force in achieving carbon neutrality, said Wang Yijun, Party secretary of the China International Youth Exchange Center, in Beijing on Thursday.

Achieving the goal of carbon neutrality is not only a plan but also an action, which requires conscious action from all people in the nation, Wang said. He was speaking at a salon for young scientists on global scientific and technological innovation for achieving carbon neutrality.

"During this process, youth is a driving force. Therefore, how to give full play to the power of youth in the context of achieving carbon neutrality is a matter of attitude, and a question we should answer," Wang said.

Industrial leaders in diverse fields came together to find answers from various perspectives, including policy making, technological innovation, financial support and industrial application.

Young people from China and the United States have played a leading role in clean energy cooperation, said Zhao Gang, director general of the Global Innovation Center.

Hundreds of Chinese and US universities, research institutions and enterprises are involved in joint research and development on clean energy technologies. Nearly 20,000 scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs have been directly involved, and 70 percent are young people, Zhao said.

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Liu Hengwei, executive vice-president of Engie China, delivers a speech on carbon neutrality in Beijing on Nov 25, 2021. [Photo provided to]

China's technological innovation is strong because the country's huge market is a driving force that promotes technological innovation along with research and development, said Liu Hengwei, executive vice-president of Engie China.

China's strong manufacturing capability can also turn technology into low-cost products, which can speed up the application of new technologies worldwide, especially in developing countries, to promote global emissions reduction, Liu said.

Young people should be aware that zero emissions is the trend and devote themselves to this cause, Liu said. For example, they can focus on R&D, as well as the spreading and exchange of new technology. They can also promote technological capacity-building by holding workshops to explain new technologies, he said.

Carbon neutrality is not an option, said Wang Yuejun, EHS deputy director of Yili Group. From a large perspective, carbon neutrality will build a community with a shared future for mankind. From a small perspective, it will directly affect the future development and layout of an enterprise.

At the beginning of 2010, Yili Group started carbon footprint accounting in one pilot factory and established a team for carbon footprint accounting, and promoted it to the whole group in 2011.

In April this year, the company launched a carbon neutrality project to check the carbon footprint of all product categories throughout their whole life cycle, Wang said.

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Lin Weicheng, general manager of Kentex, is interviewed in Beijing on Nov 25, 2021. [Photo provided to]

In addition to big companies like Yili Group, small and medium-sized companies like Kentex are also paying great attention to emissions reduction and carbon neutrality.

Learning about the policies on carbon neutrality is important for a company's development, Kentex's general manager Lin Weicheng said. By better understanding the government's policy direction, he added, the company will optimize its technological plan to be more efficient and meet national emissions standards.