Former MSc student Natalie Chung smiling
Natalie Chung
ECI MPhil now climate advocate and social entrepreneur

The global energy transition could happen sooner than anticipated if sensitive intervention points are used to deliver China’s carbon neutrality policy at the city-level, researchers from the University of Oxford and The Chinese University of Hong Kong have outlined.

A former MPhil student at the ECI, Natalie Chung, has led a group of researchers who have shown that China could potentially achieve its target faster through targeting a small number of sensitive intervention policies in its major cities. She said:

While cities are influenced by global or national sensitive intervention points, this study strives to explore those that underlie concrete actions by local actors in the hope of accelerating decarbonisation and enriching the body of climate policy research with city-level insights and multi-level perspectives.'

China, the world’s largest producer of greenhouse gases accounting for 27% of global emissions, made a surprise pledge at the 75th UN General Assembly to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060, boosting hopes for a pathway to global net-zero.

The Oxford-led study identifies ways to accelerate China’s delivery of their Carbon Neutrality pledges. Researchers outline ten sensitive intervention points for Beijing and Hong Kong respectively to catalyse the two cities’ energy transition. 

Implementation would deliver significant dividend in global efforts to tackle carbon emissions, and provide a template for other major cities.

Natalie Sum Yue Chung was named one of the most impactful young sustainability leaders in Asia Pacific and included in Eco-Business's 2020 inaugural list of emerging youth sustainability changemakers.

Speaking at the time, when she was studying on the MSc in Environmental Change and Management, she said: "Thank you to the ECI and ECM programme for providing me the platform to step up my knowledge on environmental management and education! The Oxford journey has been the cornerstone to consolidate my work in climate advocacy and sustainability education.

"Youth is the agent of change and driving force for our sustainable future. I believe environmental education is at the core of transforming mindsets and shifting paradigms to enlighten the community and empower climate action.

"Always remember the path to extraordinary is open to anyone at anytime. Dare to dream and we can start making an impact for the future we want."

Find out more about Natalie Chung.