Analysis & Opinions - The Diplomat

Could a Climate Change Deal Fit China's Economic Reform Agenda?

| August 22, 2014

Why an ambitious deal on climate change is much more likely now than it was in Copenhagen in 2009.

At its meeting Paris in December 2015, the United Nations climate change conference plans to finalize a comprehensive global greenhouse gas reduction protocol for the period beyond 2020. As the world's largest emitter, China's reduction commitments will significantly determine the deal's overall impact. Whether a positive outcome is in the interests of the Chinese leadership is therefore one of the foremost questions in the remaining 16 months of negotiations. The good news for the climate is that more ambitious emission reduction targets are much more in line with China's macroeconomic reform plans than they were in Copenhagen in 2009.

Recent concerns about the long-term availability of cheap domestic coal resources, including rumors that China might impose an absolute cap on coal consumption, and plans to clean up China's air suggest that the leadership might be willing to commit to significant emission reductions in Paris....

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For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: Huenteler, Joern.“Could a Climate Change Deal Fit China's Economic Reform Agenda?.” The Diplomat, August 22, 2014.

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