(Financial Times 29/09/2015.) In one area of critical importance to the world – the need to combat climate change – China has taken a much more co-operative stance.
The past year has seen several examples of Beijing’s brand of climate detente. The first came in 2014 when China set itself the target of stemming any rise in carbon emissions beyond 2030. Last week, on a visit to the US, President Xi went further, committing $3.1bn in finance to help low-income countries least able to help themselves. He also committed China to launch a national carbon market by 2017.
True, these are modest steps in the business of actually reducing greenhouse gases. Beijing has yet to accept any internationally binding legal commitments on emissions. The fund could cynically be described as little more than guilt money. Nonetheless, these are still very welcome steps.
China is demonstrating leadership at a time when the climate agenda has lacked champions willing to take political risks. Beijing’s initiative adds momentum to the discussions ahead of the international climate conference in Paris at the end of the year. Its engagement should help to avoid a re-run of the fiasco that overtook the last climate meeting in Copenhagen in 2009 (UNFCCC)
Categories: Economic Indicators