Beijing has appointed Xie Zhenhua as special envoy for climate issues, according to media reports. The environment ministry did not initially confirm the appointment details. Xie had been Beijing’s climate negotiator for more than a decade until early 2020, the South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported. He then became a special adviser at the environment ministry. Xie is considered a key architect of the Paris climate agreement and China’s plan to avoid CO2 emissions by 2060. He was also instrumental in building China’s carbon market. But the 2060 target will be difficult to achieve “if we maintain traditional ways of production, living and consumption,” Xie said in an interview with Bloomberg in November. He added: “We need to transform quickly and drive major innovation.” After Xi Jinping the 2060 target was announced, “people would realize the investment risks in the coal sector,” Xie said. China has been repeatedly criticized for its high coal consumption.
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