Dr. Liang Xi is a professor of Sustainable Transition in Infrastructure and Construction at University College London (UCL)’s Bartlett School of Sustainable Construction. Xi is also a Standing Committee Member for China’s Climate Investment and Finance Association (CIFA).
Dr. Liang Xi attended Cop 27 where I interviewed him, he talked about his country, and China's positions concerning climate change, he said that putting loss and damage on the agenda of Cop 27 is very important and useful, and he really appreciates Egypt's efforts in that,
He added that the aim of reaching net zero or zero emissions by 2050 is hard as 2060 is already an aggressive aim and that this is the key issue that China thinks that it is not easy to do as developed countries had 40 years of carbon emissions and now asking developing countries to have zero emissions in less than 20 years.
What Is your view concerning the differences between Glasgow Cop 26 and Sharm El-Sheikh Cop 27?
Cop 26 focused on how to implement the Paris agreement and make sure every country was committed to the NDC, Nationally determined contributions that are at the heart of the Paris Agreement, and the achievement of its long-term goals. NDCs embody efforts by each country to reduce national emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change.
The Paris Agreement (Article 4, paragraph 2) requires each Party to prepare, communicate and maintain successive nationally determined contributions (NDCs) that it intends to achieve. Parties shall pursue domestic mitigation measures, with the aim of achieving the objectives of such contributions.
Cop 27 concentrates more on the implementations of the financing promises given before, especially from developed countries, and encouraging developing countries to respond and develop their NDC where only 29 countries have them from 197 countries.
There is a lot of criticism concerning China's positions in the climate change file, how do you view this criticism?
China is one of the most important actors in the climate change file, as we know China has carbon emissions more than Japan and the EU compound, so China's position in climate change is very important.
There are commitments to reach zero emissions by 2060 and decrease carbon emissions by 2030, some countries say they can't stop all their emissions, so China play important role in that to adjust new role between developed and developing countries in addressing climate change.
China could play a bridge role between developed and developing countries as China is a member of G77 which is a coalition of 134 developing countries, designed to promote its members' collective economic interests and create an enhanced joint negotiating capacity in the United Nations, so China can play an important role between the different groups inside Cop 27.
How do you view Egypt's success in putting loss and damage on the official agenda of the conference?
I think putting loss and damage on the agenda of Cop 27 is very important and useful, I really appreciate Egypt's efforts in putting this item on the agenda, because this could help in finding many credible ways to help facilitate more funding from developed to developing countries on how to go forward on adaptation and how to recover the loss caused by climate change,
Is China willing to give more finance for loss and damage items to developing countries that were affected?
China is a developing country, I am not on the Chinese negotiating team so I don't know if China is putting in more money, but I personally think China can help other developing countries in different ways like funding projects and capacity buildings.
What exactly does China disagree with in the Cop items, especially with the USA?
I think reaching net zero or zero emissions by 2050 is hard as 2060 is already an aggressive aim, I think this is the key issue that China thinks is not easy to do, but China is keen on playing a more active role as it has become more active after 2014 in climate change efforts,
So, do you think net zero is impossible to reach by 2050?
I think it is not easy, it will be challenging and expensive, and as we all know developed countries had more than 40 years of carbon emissions so it will not be easy for developing countries to stop carbon emissions in less than 20 years, but I think it is not impossible to reach, and China is going on the path for achieving it.
Do you think China and Group 77 have a say in Cop 27?
Yes, I think they have a much more important role in Cop 27 than any other Cop before to address climate change subjects
Do you think the carbon market has a chance to be internationally implemented on the ground soon?
Yes, China has already demanded a national acting plan for that, I think the carbon market is really important for climate change because without financing no one is going to take it seriously, it is needed also in Africa so maybe next year it will be more implemented.
Dr. Liang Xi is a professor of Sustainable Transition in Infrastructure and Construction at University College London (UCL)’s Bartlett School of Sustainable Construction.
Xi is also a Standing Committee Member for China’s Climate Investment and Finance Association (CIFA) and Deputy Director for China’s CCUS Committee, within the Chinese Society for Environmental Sciences.
He is also appointed as Chief Scientist for China Resources Environment Group and Secretary General of the UK-Chin (Guangdong) CCUS Centre. Xi recently was the lead national expert for Asian Development Bank’s Municipal Climate Finance Project in China.
He is also a key project member for various climate finance projects in UK and China, including standard development, policy formulation, municipal climate finance pilot delivered training on climate finance for municipal government officials and an advisor to the UK government’s climate-compatible growth infrastructure program.
Xi has a Ph.D. in Energy Policy and Climate Finance from the University of Cambridge Judge Business School, two Master's Degrees (in management research and in process technology) at the University of Cambridge and the University of Warwick, a Diploma from Imperial College (DIC) (in Energy Technology for Sustainable Development) and a Bachelor's Degree at the South China University of Technology (in electrical and electronic engineering).
He also holds a Chartered Financial Analyst and Financial Risk Manager. Xi has co-founded the UK-China (Guangdong) CCUS Centre with China Energy Engineering Corporation Guangdong Electric Power Design Institute and co-founded Reduce Carbon Limited, a subsidiary of China Resources Power.