J Environ Manage. 2022 Dec 20;329:117081. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2022.117081. Online ahead of print.
China’s carbon reduction is of substantial significance in combating global climate change. In the context of the COVID-19 epidemic hit and economic and social development uncertainty, this study intends to discover whether China can attain the strategic destination of carbon peaking by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2060 on schedule. Toward this aim, the grey relation analysis (GRA) is applied to filter the elements influencing carbon emissions to downgrade the dimensionality of indicators. A hybrid prediction is proposed integrated with Elman neural network (ENN) and sparrow search algorithm (SSA) to explore the potential for China to carbon neutrality from 2020 to 2060. The results reveal eight elements including GDP per capita, population, urbanization, total energy consumption and others are highly correlated with carbon emissions. China has a good chance of carbon peaking from 2028 to 2030, with a value of 11568.6-12330.5 Mt, while only one scenario can achieve carbon neutrality in 2060. In the neutral scenario, China should reach a proportion of renewable energy exceeding 80%, the urbanization rate reaching 85% and energy consumption controlling within 6.5 billion tons. A set of countermeasures for carbon abatement are presented to facilitate the implementation of carbon neutrality strategy.