China can add $1.9T in annual business opportunities if it makes necessary ecological transition, says WEF report
About $9 trillion of China’s annual economic output is at risk of disruption from nature loss, representing 65% of its total GDP, a new analysis by World Economic Forum (WEF) showed on Monday.
“By urgently making 15 nature-positive transitions across three socio-economic systems, China could add $1.9 trillion in annual business opportunities and create 88 million resilient jobs by 2030,” the report said.
Noting that China eyes becoming an “ecological civilization,” the report warned that as the country’s economy rebounds, economic development must be compatible with resilient biodiversity.
China has ambitious targets for its carbon emissions to peak before 2030 and to achieve carbon neutrality before 2060.
According to WEF, three key socio-economic systems, namely “food, land and ocean use – Infrastructure and the built environment energy and extractives” must transition towards carbon neutrality and a nature-positive future.
“These three systems are inextricably associated with biodiversity threats, but also are crucial to China’s economic and social development,” it said.
At the same time, the report noted, nature may be China’s strongest ally in tackling climate change.
According to the report, nature-based solutions could provide 37% of the cost-effective carbon dioxide mitigation needed up to 2030 to have a chance to limit global warming to under 2C.
Since climate change, biodiversity loss, and social inequality are intertwined, many experts argue that economic recovery from the pandemic must be pursued in a green and low-carbon way.