Could the Lima conference be a turning point?

By Huan Qingzhi
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, December 9, 2014
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Challenges that China faces

China, as the world's largest developing country, which is also the largest emitter, has the responsibility to take concrete measures in emissions reduction.

China's attitude to global climate change, among other ecological and environmental issues, is an important factor affecting the image of China and its ruling CPC. Domestically, ecological improvement is consistent with other major targets such as China's peaceful rise, the Chinese Dream and the Green Dream.

In assuming a positive role in the BRICS, G20 and the APEC mechanisms, China already showed its support to signing a new climate treaty next year in Paris. Hence, it is not in China's interest to see next year's Paris conference end fruitless.

Then how should China take the right stance at the Lima conference and the following year-long climate negotiations? I would like to propose three considerations.

First, Beijing should make further clarifications to show that China is different from either developed, industrialized Western countries or other average developing countries. This will require China to assume a more active and enterprising attitude in global climate talks, in which it should seek and guard its fundamental interests.

Second, China should establish its stance and policies on global climate change based on international and domestic points of view. In general, a more ambitious roadmap for emissions reduction in combination with a stricter international regulation system is an international trend, which would also help with China's modernization efforts. It means that China is already able to take a more positive stance on climate issues.

Third, China should learn to guard its traditional national interests while seeking new national interests in the contemporary international discourse system, so as to eventually make the transition to a green economy.

To sum up, we have the confidence to show the world that China has become a world leader in shaping global governance to tackle climate change.

The writer is a professor at Peking University.

This article was translated by Chen Boyuan. Its original unabridged version was published in Chinese.

Opinion articles reflect the views of their authors, not necessarily those of

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