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According to experts, climate change cooperation can help to reduce tensions between China and the USA.

With Obama’s administration, the US government has become more active in its approach to climate change: experts suggest that Obama has established a clearer strategy of environmentalissues. Obama has understood the importance to foster environmental policies, in order to expand American influence and to compete with the EU for influence over public opinion, expert say. In this way, the US government has strengthened its ability to drive the debates on the theme of climate change.

In 2009, there were some signals of the improved relations between the US and China, and in comparison with the Bush’s administration there was less pressure on China to act on climate change. However, at the Copenhagen climate summit, Obama expressed great criticism in relation to the Chinese environmental policy.

Data show that today China represents the world’s largest CO2 emitter. In relation to that, we can see a significant change: the government is stressing its environmental commitment. China has undertaken positive measures at the national and international level, boosting its efforts to fight climate change.

Experts outline that in 2012, the cooperation between China and the US on climate change has achieved good progress.  However, over the past four years, strategic conflicts between the two governments have become more pronounced in many fields. In this way, working together on climate change represents a key issue for their political relationship.

Cooperationon the economy, finance and climate change represents a good strategy to prevent a further deterioration in relations, experts say. Additionally, while there is antagonism over strategic issues, cooperation on finance, international security issues, and also on dealing with climate change, can play a crucial compensatory role: implementation of agreements on climate change and bilateral investments can be concrete strategies to start.

With Obama, the government has significantly increased its interest on climate change related issues. However, the administration doesn’t have the political strength to foster climate change policies, experts stress.

On the other hand, the Chinese situation is different. The Chinese government is determined to establish concrete measures to face climate change. The government has highlighted that China should strongly contribute to global problem-solving. Although there are still some problems, China is taking more seriously its environmental situation.

Experts describe tensions between the US and China over climate change: the US government argue that China need to reinforce its efforts to reduce emissions. However, experts suggest that this situation is now improving.

In emissions reduction, clean and efficient use of coal, nuclear power, wind power and the green economy, the US has better technology and knowledge. In recent years, many of those technologies have been imported to China. Also, China is reinforcing its green industry, and has started to develop its own advanced technologies. As the government invests more in the US, the country will be able to achieve good results for the US response to climate change, and for global efforts.

In this context, experts have stressed that climate change should be a central issue of the political agenda. Governments should cooperate, focusing on their environmental strategies in order to reduce global emissions.

Moreover, experts show that the EU has played a key role stressing the urgency to undertake concrete measures to address environmental issues, and enhancing the relationship between China and the US on the matter.


The gLAWcal Team

POREEN project

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

(Source: ChinaDialogue)