The world’s major industrial countries must significantly reduce their carbon emissions in order to fulfill the terms of the Paris Climate Agreement, under which 196 parties committed to ensuring that average global temperatures do not increase by more than 2℃ compared to pre-industrial levels. China and Germany still depend heavily on fossil fuels such as natural gas, oil, and coal to meet their energy needs. However, both countries are developing strategies to achieve carbon neutrality within the next few decades. Successful implementation of these strategies requires further basic research and innovation.

The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina have thus, in advance of the UN Climate Conference (COP 28) that began on November 30 in Dubai, announced the second joint Science for Future conference in Berlin/Germany in autumn 2024. The conference will focus on basic research aimed at achieving climate neutrality.

China wants to hit peak carbon emissions by 2030 and become carbon neutral by 2060. Germany wants to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045. To achieve these goals, both countries must develop and expand renewable energies in all sectors. It is also vital to continue promoting research into energy efficiency, sustainable mobility, and carbon use and storage, as basic research makes an important contribution to the development of the technologies needed to advance these sectors.

CAS and the Leopoldina launched the Science for Future initiative in 2018 with the aim of highlighting the importance of basic research to society. The inaugural conference, under the heading “All Starts with Basic Research”, took place in Beijing in China in autumn 2019. The conference brought together internationally renowned established researchers and junior researchers. The next conference, scheduled for Berlin in October 2024, is headed “On the Path to Carbon Neutrality”. It will examine topics that are key to achieving climate neutrality, including CO2-neutral energy systems and technologies, the role of ecosystems as carbon sinks, global pricing mechanisms for carbon dioxide, a global carbon market, and international cooperation on energy and climate issues.

This second Science for Future conference will take place in Berlin on Tuesday, October 29, 2024 and on Wednesday, October 30, 2024.

The Chinese Academy of Sciences maintains close contact with the Leopoldina. The aim of the cooperation is to promote exchange between the two scientific communities, for example as part of joint expert symposiums. In addition, the Chinese Academy of Sciences and its German partners are jointly involved in providing international policy advice, for example by helping to develop statements for the G20 summits.

Source: Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina

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