Germany and China take the lead

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Science  03 Nov 2017:
Vol. 358, Issue 6363, pp. 569
DOI: 10.1126/science.aar2525

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  • Greater efforts to safeguard CO2 reduction from EVs in China
    • Xunmin Ou, Associate Professor, Institute of Energy, Enviroment and Economy, Tsinghua Univerisity, Beijing, China
    • Other Contributors:
      • Jian Liu, Research Scientist, Energy Research Institute, National Development and Reform Commission of China
      • Xiaoyu Yan, Senior Lecturer, Environment and Sustainability Institute, University of Exeter, UK
      • Ming Xu, Associate Professor, School for Environment and Sustainability, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, U.S.A
      • Tianduo Peng, Researcher Associate, Institute of Energy, Enviroment and Economy, Tsinghua Univerisity, Beijing, China
      • Zhongying Wang, Deputy Director, Energy Research Institute, National Development Reform Commission of China

    In 2015 transport accounted for 10% of CO2 emissions in China (1). CO2 emitted from the transport sector, passenger cars being the major contributor, is projected to keep growing (2,3,4,5).
    In their Editorial “Germany and China take the lead” (3 November, p.569), B. Knopf and K. Jiang state the transport sector offers excellent opportunities in global decarbonization and China has adopted a quota for electric vehicles (EVs) and is considering a ban on internal combustion engine (ICE) cars to achieve a sustainable transport system.
    Stimulated by a series of policy incentives in recent years, China is leading the world in passenger car electrification (6). The newly-implemented EV sales quota and pending ban on ICE cars further encourages future market growth in China.
    However, immediate and substantial carbon benefits are not automatically guaranteed by the transition to EVs in China. One of the key factors determining the life-cycle CO2 emissions of EVs is the sources of electricity (7). Currently, about 70% of China’s electricity is still generated from coal (1) and an average EV in China can only save 20-30% of CO2 emissions from a comparable gasoline car (8).
    Therefore, even with existing support for EV development, greater efforts are needed for China to strategically coordinate the deployment of renewable electricity and EVs. For instance, utilizing EVs as additional storage capacity for a high renewable energy system can increase the CO2 savin...

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    Competing Interests: None declared.
  • Not "United Nations" but "United Industries" should be considered for global warming and Paris agreement
    • Keita Taniguchi, CEO, Zenta
    • Other Contributors:
      • Yoshiyasu Takefuji, Professor, Keio University

    Brigitte Knopf et al. mentioned the withdrawal of the United States from the Paris agreement and the replacement of the United States. There are pros and cons in global warming and Paris agreement. In the 18th century, the issue of population explosion, proposed by Malthus, was a global issue like the current global warming problem. The solution to the population explosion given by the researchers was mainly the management of the population. It was very natural to think about the solution in the framework of “nation”. However, the population explosion was avoided not by the human solution but by the miracle of demographic transition. The miracle of demographic transition was beyond the imagination of the competent researchers.
    In order to realize a low-carbon society, industry must play a key role. Because the CO2 increase is due to the result of activities of these industries where "United Industries" should be discussed instead of "United Nations". Industries are always trying to meet the needs of people all over the world. Super-multinational industries exist in our society. They divide the functions of manufacturing, production, sales, planning, and so on, and dynamically and globally arrange with their capital logic.
    The most upstream of capitalism in our modern society is a part of the financial communities. Although they do not appear on the front stage, they are undoubtedly owners and/or leaders in the industry. The fina...

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    Competing Interests: None declared.

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