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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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  • Zhang, ZhongXiang

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.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 15587.

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Date of creation: 02 Jun 2009
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:15587

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Keywords: Carbon intensity target; Binding emissions caps; Post-Kyoto climate negotiations; Energy saving; Renewable energy; Clean development mechanism; China; USA; India;

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References

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  1. Zhang, ZhongXiang, 2008. "Is it fair to treat China as a Christmas tree to hang everybody’s complaints? putting its own energy saving into perspective," MPRA Paper 12276, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. 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.
  3. ZhongXiang Zhang, 2010. "China in the Transition to a Low-Carbon Economy," Economics Study Area Working Papers, East-West Center, Economics Study Area 109, East-West Center, Economics Study Area.
  4. Ellerman,A. Denny & Convery,Frank J. & de Perthuis,Christian, 2010. "Pricing Carbon," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521196475.
  5. World Bank, 2010. "World Development Indicators 2010," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 4373, August.
  6. Zhang, ZhongXiang, 2001. "Why did the energy intensity fall in China's industrial sector in the 1990s? the relative importance of structural change and intensity change," MPRA Paper 13149, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Tora Skodvin & Steinar Andresen, 2009. "An agenda for change in U.S. climate policies? Presidential ambitions and congressional powers," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 263-280, August.
  8. Ellerman,A. Denny & Joskow,Paul L. & Schmalensee,Richard & Montero,Juan-Pablo & Bailey,Elizabeth M., 2005. "Markets for Clean Air," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521023894.
  9. Zhang, ZhongXiang, 2006. "China, the United States and technology cooperation on climate control," MPRA Paper 12801, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Weber, Christopher L. & Peters, Glen P. & Guan, Dabo & Hubacek, Klaus, 2008. "The contribution of Chinese exports to climate change," Energy Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 36(9), pages 3572-3577, September.
  11. ZhongXiang Zhang, 2009. "Multilateral Trade Measures in a Post-2012 Climate Change Regime?: What Can Be Taken from the Montreal Protocol and the WTO?," Working Papers, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei 2009.81, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  12. Shui, Bin & Harriss, Robert C., 2006. "The role of CO2 embodiment in US-China trade," Energy Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 34(18), pages 4063-4068, December.
  13. 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.
  14. Zhang, Zhong Xiang, 1995. "Energy conservation in China : An international perspective," Energy Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 159-166, February.
  15. De Perthuis, Christian & Convery, Frank J. & Ellerman, Denny, 2010. "Pricing carbon : the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine, Paris Dauphine University 123456789/10174, Paris Dauphine University.
  16. Zhang, ZhongXiang, 2000. "Can China afford to commit itself an emissions cap? An economic and political analysis," Energy Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 22(6), pages 587-614, December.
  17. Emma Paulsson, 2009. "A review of the CDM literature: from fine-tuning to critical scrutiny?," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 63-80, February.
  18. 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.
  19. ZhongXiang Zhang, 2003. "Open Trade with the U.S. without Compromising Canada’s Ability to Comply with its Kyoto Target," Working Papers, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei 2003.68, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Wu, Libo & Li, Jing & Zhang, ZhongXiang, 2013. "Inflationary effect of oil-price shocks in an imperfect market: A partial transmission input–output analysis," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 354-369.
  2. Robert Shum, 2014. "China, the United States, bargaining, and climate change," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 83-100, March.
  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. 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, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 261-273, September.
  5. ZhongXiang Zhang, 2014. "Programs, Prices and Policies Towards Energy Conservation and Environmental Quality in China," CCEP Working Papers, Centre for Climate Economics & Policy, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University 1407, Centre for Climate Economics & Policy, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  6. Emanuele Massetti, 2011. "Carbon tax scenarios for China and India: exploring politically feasible mitigation goals," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 209-227, September.
  7. ZhongXiang Zhang, 2013. "Energy and Environmental Issues and Policy in China," Working Papers, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei 2013.92, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  8. 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, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei 2011.49, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.

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