China has been deflecting from its responsibility for climate change by hiding behind its status as a developing nation, argue William Young and Jack Richardson.
In this Primer for the Council on Geostrategy, entitled ‘China’s carbon-intensive rise: Addressing the tensions’, the authors outlines how the principles of Common But Differentiated Responsibilities have enabled the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to focus attention on developed nations for their historic emissions. This ignores the fact that China is now the second largest historic emitter and the largest yearly emitter of greenhouse gases.
Not only has the CCP used the concept [of CBDR] to deflect attention away from the PRC’s position as the world’s largest annual greenhouse gas emitter by some margin, it has also used it to challenge the developed world’s relations with developing economies.William Young & Jack Richardson
The authors argue that the United Kingdom is well-placed to challenge China’s discursive statecraft on climate policy, and argue that HM Government should work to build bi- and plurilateral agreements to provide a ‘counter-offer’ to assist developing nations in managing their emissions.