Chin J Plant Ecol ›› 2021, Vol. 45 ›› Issue (11): 1173-1176.DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2021.0394

• Hou Xueyu Review •     Next Articles

Ecological perspectives of carbon neutrality

FANG Jing-Yun1,2,*()   

  1. 1Institute of Ecology, College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
    2Yunnan University, Chenggong, Kunming 650500, China
  • Received:2021-11-02 Accepted:2021-11-04 Online:2021-11-20 Published:2021-11-24
  • Contact: FANG Jing-Yun
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China for Basic Science Center Project(31988102)


In this article, I first briefly introduce the concept of “Carbon Neutrality”, and then discuss the vital role of ecosystem carbon sinks in achieving the carbon neutrality target. It is assertive that any efforts to achieve the carbon neutrality target depend unavoidably on both reducing carbon emissions and enhancing carbon sequestrations. There are four key factors in reducing carbon emissions, including lowering energy consumption in human activities, restructuring fossil energy consumptions especially decreasing coal consumption, promoting energy use efficiency, and developing clean and low-carbon energy. Enhancing carbon sequestration relies inclusively on restoration, construction, and better management of the ecosystems. Benefited from enhanced vegetation growth and ecological engineering practice, Chinese terrestrial ecosystem has acted and will continue to act the significant role in the carbon sequestration. To improve the ecosystem carbon sequestration, I propose the “three-optimization principles”, i.e., optimal ecosystem arrangement, optimal species setting, and optimal ecosystem management. In addition, I also state some viewpoints on potential problems and challenges in the “post-carbon neutrality” era. It may be crucial to proactively and rationally think about the possibilities of declining global vegetation productivity and relevant new environmental issues caused by a decrease in the CO2 concentration rising in the era.

Key words: carbon neutrality, carbon emission, carbon sequestration, “three-optimization principles”, of enhancing carbon sinks, “post-carbon neutrality”, era