Carbon neutrality roadmaps for cities in developing countries are completely different from those in developed countries due to historical, social, and economic limitations. Taking Shanghai as a case, this study proposes a new framework for sustainable net-zero carbon transition of cities in developing countries by integrating multiple purposes within multiple sectors under carbon budget constraints. The results show that 1) the total carbon emissions of Shanghai decreased from 2010 to 2020 in general, with a historic peak in 2011; 2) under the traditional trajectory, reaching the peak before 2030 is difficult; while under the carbon-neutral scenario, carbon peak will be achieved before 2025, and carbon neutrality can be achieved by 2050; 3) Great efforts are needed even in the process of peaking carbon emissions, especially in industrial sectors; 4) the integration of technology innovation and policy mechanisms is crucial to realizing zero carbon target. 5) This study provides improved understanding of urban carbon peaking and neutrality process from a systematic perspective, which could potentially help accelerate the sustainable transition towards carbon neutrality for cities that face dual challenges of development and decarbonization.
Keywords carbon neutrality, sustainability, carbon emissions, energy transition, scenario analysis