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Is It Fair to Treat China as a Christmas Tree to Hang Everybody’s Complaints? Putting its Own Energy Saving into Perspective

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  • ZhongXiang Zhang

    (East-West Center)

Abstract

China had been the world’s second largest carbon emitter for years. However, recent studies show that China had overtaken the U.S. as the world’s largest emitter in 2007. This has put China on the spotlight, just at a time when the world community starts negotiating a post-Kyoto climate regime under the Bali roadmap. China seems to become such a Christmas tree on which everybody can hang his/her complaints. This paper first discusses whether such a critics is fair by examining China’s own efforts towards energy saving, the widespread use of renewable energy and participation in clean development mechanism. Next, the paper puts carbon reductions of China’s unilateral actions into perspective by examining whether the estimated greenhouse gas emission reduction from meeting the country’s national energy saving goal is achieved from China’s unilateral actions or mainly with support from the clean development mechanism projects. Then the paper discusses how far developing country commitments can go in an immediate post-2012 climate regime, thus pointing out the direction and focus of future international climate negotiations. Finally, emphasizing that China needs to act as a large and responsible developing country and take due responsibilities and to set a good example to the majority of developing countries, the paper articulates what can be expected from China to illustrate that China can be a good partner in combating global climate change.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei in its series Working Papers with number 2009.45.

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Date of creation: Jun 2009
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Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2009.45

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Keywords: Energy Saving; Renewable Energy; Post-Kyoto Climate Negotiations; Clean Development Mechanism; China; USA;

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References

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  1. Zhang, ZhongXiang, 2006. "Toward an effective implementation of clean development mechanism projects in China," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(18), pages 3691-3701, December.
  2. Zhang, ZhongXiang, 2006. "China, the United States and technology cooperation on climate control," MPRA Paper 12801, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Zhang, ZhongXiang, 2004. "The World Bank's prototype carbon fund and China," MPRA Paper 13222, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Dec 2005.
  4. Zhang, ZhongXiang, 2000. "Can China afford to commit itself an emissions cap? An economic and political analysis," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(6), pages 587-614, December.
  5. Zhang, ZhongXiang, 2003. "Why Has China not Embraced a Global Cap-and-Trade Regime?," MPRA Paper 12783, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Jul 2007.
  6. Franck Lecocq & Karan Capoor, . "State and Trends of the Carbon Market 2003," World Bank Other Operational Studies 13416, The World Bank.
  7. Zhang, ZhongXiang, 2004. "Meeting the Kyoto targets: the importance of developing country participation," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 3-19, January.
  8. Zhang, Zhong Xiang, 1999. "Estimating the size of the potential market for the Kyoto flexibility mechanisms," CCSO Working Papers 199920, University of Groningen, CCSO Centre for Economic Research.
  9. Zhang, ZhongXiang, 2008. "Asian energy and environmental policy: Promoting growth while preserving the environment," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(10), pages 3905-3924, October.
  10. Zhang, Zhong-Xiang, 2007. "China is moving away the pattern of "develop first and then treat the pollution"," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(7), pages 3547-3549, July.
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