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In what format and under what timeframe would China take on climate commitments? A roadmap to 2050

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  • Zhongxiang Zhang

    ()

Abstract

Given that China is already the world’s largest carbon emitter and its emissions continue to rise rapidly in line with its industrialization and urbanization, there is no disagreement that China eventually needs to take on binding greenhouse gas emissions caps. However, the key challenges are when that would occur and what credible interim targets China would need to take on during this transition period. This paper takes these challenges by mapping out the roadmap for China’s specific commitments towards 2050. Specifically, I suggest that China make credible quantified domestic commitments during the second commitment period, commit to voluntary no lose targets during the third commitment period, adopt binding carbon intensity targets during the fourth commitment period, and take on binding emissions caps starting the fifth commitment period and aimed for the global convergence of per capita emissions by 2050. These proposed commitments should be viewed as China’s political commitments, not necessarily China’s actual takings in the ongoing international climate change negotiations, in order to break the current political impasse between developed and developing countries. It is worthwhile China considering these political commitments either on its own or through a joint statement with U.S. and other major countries, provided that a number of conditions can be worked out. These commitments are principles, and still leave flexibility for China to work out details as international climate change negotiations move on. But in the meantime, they signal well ahead that China is seriously committed to addressing climate change issues, alleviate, if not completely remove, U.S. and other industrialized country’s concerns about when China would get in, an indication that the whole world has long awaited from China, help U.S. to take on long-expected emissions commitments, and thus pave the way for reaching an international climate agreement at Copenhagen.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics.

Volume (Year): 11 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 245-259

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Handle: RePEc:spr:ieaple:v:11:y:2011:i:3:p:245-259

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Web page: http://www.springer.com/economics/journal/10784

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Related research

Keywords: Carbon intensity target; Binding emissions caps; Post-Copenhagen climate negotiations; China; United States; India;

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References

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  1. Zhang, ZhongXiang, 2009. "The U.S. proposed carbon tariffs, wto scrutiny and China's reponses," MPRA Paper 18976, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 02 Dec 2009.
  2. ZhongXiang Zhang, 2003. "Open Trade with the U.S. without Compromising Canada’s Ability to Comply with its Kyoto Target," Working Papers 2003.68, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  3. Jeffrey A. Frankel, 2009. "An Elaborated Global Climate Policy Architecture: Specific Formulas and Emission Targets for All Countries in All Decades," NBER Working Papers 14876, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Zhang, ZhongXiang, 2006. "China, the United States and technology cooperation on climate control," MPRA Paper 12801, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Zhang, ZhongXiang, 2003. "Why did the energy intensity fall in China's industrial sector in the 1990s? The relative importance of structural change and intensity change," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(6), pages 625-638, November.
  6. Zhang, ZhongXiang, 2008. "Multilateral Trade Measures in a Post-2012 Climate Change Regime?: What Can Be Taken from the Montreal Protocol and the WTO?," MPRA Paper 12782, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 29 Dec 2008.
  7. ZhongXiang Zhang, 2010. "China in the Transition to a Low-Carbon Economy," Working Papers 2010.76, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. ZhongXiang Zhang, 2014. "Programs, Prices and Policies Towards Energy Conservation and Environmental Quality in China," CCEP Working Papers 1407, Centre for Climate Economics & Policy, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  2. ZhongXiang Zhang, 2013. "Energy and Environmental Issues and Policy in China," Working Papers 2013.92, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  3. Yingying Lu & Alison Stegman & Yiyong Cai, 2012. "Emissions Intensity Targeting: From China's 12th Five Year Plan to its Copenhagen Commitment," CAMA Working Papers 2012-45, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  4. Robert Shum, 2014. "China, the United States, bargaining, and climate change," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 83-100, March.
  5. Libo Wu & Jing Li & ZhongXiang Zhang, 2011. "Inflationary Effect of Oil-Price Shocks in an Imperfect Market: A Partial Transmission Input-output Analysis," Working Papers 2011.29, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  6. ZhongXiang Zhang, 2011. "Breaking the Impasse in International Climate Negotiations: A New Direction for Currently Flawed Negotiations and a Roadmap for China to 2050," Working Papers 2011.49, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  7. Sean Walsh & Huifang Tian & John Whalley & Manmohan Agarwal, 2011. "China and India’s participation in global climate negotiations," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 261-273, September.
  8. Emanuele Massetti, 2011. "Carbon tax scenarios for China and India: exploring politically feasible mitigation goals," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 209-227, September.

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