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THE UN CLIMATE SUMMIT: CHINA IS NOT READY TO BE WORLD-LEADER ON CLIMATE GOVERNANCE

During the UN Climate Summit 2014, held in New York, came to light that China is not ready to lead climate deal and, as expected, no sign of firm commitments have been decided to reduce climate emissions.

If a deal is to be reached in Paris next year, expectations for progress are pinned on prospects of an initial agreement between the world’s two largest emitters: China and the US.

A pre-condition of the US action is a commitment from China to cutting emissions.

In the past, at the UN climate held in Copenhagen, China and India protested against what they saw as a failure to reduce emissions by developed countries, and an attempt to restrict their own economic growth and development.

Now, China is far more willing to accept its important role, but differentiated responsibility, said Professor Huan Qingzhi of Peking University's Centre for Environmental Politics Research. Speaking to ChinaDialogue, Huan said China was “not ready to be a world-leader on climate governance and still sees developed countries like the US having a bigger responsibility to lead”; but it “is becoming a more active player in global climate politics and it is ready to take on more responsibility”.

According to his opinion, China looks to the United States such as the key mover for cutting emissions from coal-burning power plants and for this reason the decision of including emission targets in its next Five Year Plan (2016-20).

Speaking after the UN summit in New York, Greenpeace climate campaigner Li Shuo said environmental concerns were higher up the agenda in China today. This year saw the lowest coal consumption growth because domestic air pollution is forcing the country to embark on a new path away from coal.

However, more time is necessary in order that things start to change in a country the size of China.

 

The gLAWcal Team

EPSEI project

Monday, 29 September 2014

(Source: China Dialogue)