Is China a climate wrecker or a climate leader?

Is China a climate wrecker or a climate leader?

By Lisa Williams

China's policy makers are increasingly merging their economic restructuring goals with environmental and energy issues into a new vision for China's future: the so-called 'ecological civilisation'.

Second, China's extreme air pollution problems are adding a sense of urgency to the need to decouple economic growth from dirty sources of energy.

First, energy supply in China has always been a problem, since strong economic growth hasfueled increasing energy demand.

In the last three years, the public displeasure has been heard by China's leaders, who know the smog problem is one that could eventually destabilise the 'harmony' they have tried so hard to protect.

At the infamous Copenhagen climate change meeting in 2009, China was accused of'wrecking' the talks, humiliating other world leaders and blocking any useful agreement.

On the one hand, economic growth has formed the basis of the Party's legitimacy, and China's leaders have recognised the need for economic reforms to rescue aslowing economy.

And since energy makes up about 80% of China's emissions, energy sector reforms have had a significant (but difficult to quantify) impact on China's emissions profile.

Read more here: Business Spectator


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