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Is China taking actions to limit its greenhouse gas emissions? past evidence and future prospects

Zhang, ZhongXiang (1998): Is China taking actions to limit its greenhouse gas emissions? past evidence and future prospects.

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Abstract

As the world’s second largest carbon emitter, China has long been criticised as a “free-rider” enjoying benefits from other countries’ efforts to abate greenhouse gas emissions but not taking due responsibilities of its own. China has been singled out as one of the major targets at the subsequent negotiations after the Kyoto curtain had fallen. By an¬alyzing the historical contributions of inter-fuel switching, energy conserva¬tion, economic growth and population expan¬sion to China’s CO2 emissions during the period 1980-1997, this article first demonstrates that the above criticism cannot hold its ground. Then the article envisions some efforts and commitments that could be expected from China until its per capita income catches up with the level of middle-developed countries. By emphasizing the win-win strategies, these efforts and commitments could be unlikely to severely jeopardize China’s economic development and, at the same time, would give the country more leverage at the post-Kyoto climate change negotiations.

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