The problem of climate change remains an urgent matter on international agenda with every country being partly responsible for the current state of affairs and for making the changes necessary for reducing their contributions to this issue in the nearest future. This was the topic and goal that guided diplomatic talks on fighting climate change at the 2017 United Nations Climate Change conference, held in Bonn, Germany this November. Considering that China is the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases as of now and is projected to increase its emission levels in the upcoming years, it was on the key conference interests and one of the key parties in the discussion.
After a few years of smaller emission amounts showed by China in previous years, they have raised again in the 2017 and are expected to continue growing. This makes China a leading contributor to climate change as of today, which places China in an unfavorable position among other countries. As most of the China’s greenhouse emissions are due to the extensive use of coal, they are also associated with terrible air pollution suffered by Chinese people. This is a pressing domestic issue that is forcing Chinese officials to develop policies and regulations that would promote greener sources of energy. Lastly, climate change is associated with the increased frequency of adverse weather conditions that take place all over the planet, which is a real hazard faced by all the countries, including China.
The Climate Change conference aimed to agree on how to implement the Paris Agreement, where countries committed to reducing their greenhouse emission in the upcoming years. The Chinese leadership has previously voiced the intent to lead the world on climate change issues, but it was not fulfilled during the conference. Namely, China is reluctant to agree to stop using the coil as of now as it fuels country’s economy. However, they did propose banning vehicles that burn fossil fuels in favor of electric cars. China also tends to push to adopting different emission standards for developed and developing countries, that would make the emission reports vaguer.
At the same time, China continues to incorporate alternative sources of energy into their production and Chinese leadership continues to voice the intention to fight climate change. Hence, while there is definitely an intent to address the climate change, there is little clarity of how to do it practically as of now.
- Busby, Joshua. “3 things we learned at this week’s U.N. climate change meeting.” The Washington Post, www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2017/11/17/what-did-we-just-learn-at-the-u-n-climate-change-meeting/?utm_term=.dce8d620d81e. Accessed 10 December 2017.
- Ellis, Jonathan. “The Bonn Climate Conference: All Our Coverage in One Place.” The New York Times, www.nytimes.com/2017/11/13/climate/bonn-climate-change-conference.html. Accessed 10 December 2017.
- National Development and Reform Commission of P.R. China. “China’s Policies and Actions for Addressing Climate Change (2017)”. en.ccchina.gov.cn/archiver/ccchinaen/UpFile/Files/Default/20171121152145348733.pdf. Accessed 10 December 2017.