Chinese President Xi Jinping says his country wants to become a world leader in stopping climate change.
“We aim to have carbon dioxide emissions peak before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060,” he said, during his speech on Tuesday to the UN General Assembly.
His words are being seen by analysts as a significant step in the fight against global warming.
China is the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases as it relies heavily for its electricity on coal, one of the most carbon-intensive fossil fuels.
Xi said the coronavirus pandemic had shown the need to preserve the environment. “Humankind can no longer afford to ignore the repeated warnings of nature,” he said.
Greenpeace executive director Jennifer Morgan called it “an important signal” that showed climate change is “top of agenda for China”.
If so, the move will put significant pressure on the US to follow suit.
President Donald Trump has called global warming “a hoax”.