Munich Personal RePEc Archive

The role of China in combating global climate change

Zhang, ZhongXiang (1999): The role of China in combating global climate change.

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Abstract

China is the world's second largest CO2 emitter behind the U.S. To what extent China gets involved in combating global climate change is extremely important both for lowering compliance costs of climate mitigation and adaptation and for moving international climate negotiations forward. This explains why the role of China is an issue of perennial concern at the international climate change negotiations. In ascending order of stringency, this article envisions the six options that could be put on the table as China's plausible negotiation position on commitments. It argues that a combination of a targeted carbon intensity level with an emissions cap on a particular sector at some point around or beyond 2020 is the bottom line, beyond which China can not afford to go until its per capita income catches up with the level of middle-developed countries. The article is concluded with the argument that combating global climate change is in China's interest. It will be beneficial to a more sustainable development of the Chinese economy as well as to the global climate.

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