China’s biggest oil & gas producer has committed to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 and pledged to spend about $1.5bn annually both this year and next on renewable-energy and hydrogen projects.

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Jiao Fangzhen, vice-president of state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), told a recent energy conference in Beijing that it will increase its investments in wind, solar, geothermal and hydrogen by a factor of five.

The net-zero commitment is in line with President Xi Jinping’s recent pledge for China to achieve carbon-neutrality by 2060.

It is not clear if CNPC's hydrogen plans involve green, blue or grey hydrogen.

The company said in a recent report that China’s oil demand and carbon emissions will peak in 2025, with natural-gas demand peaking in 2040.

However, CNPC appears to be suggesting that the country will rely heavily on carbon offsets, pointing out that peak oil demand in China of about 730 million tonnes will only come down by 310 million tonnes by 2050.

The oil giant is already developing two offshore wind farms totalling 600MW off Jiangsu province, along with a small geothermal plant in Hebei province and kilowatt-scale solar arrays at a number of its petrol stations.

Company chairman Dai Houliang told reporters at a recent briefing that CNPC has established a task force to keep track of its renewable-energy developments, adding that it will prioritise exploration and production of natural gas over the next five years while trying to maintain the current level of oil production.