Forskning ved Københavns Universitet - Københavns Universitet


Climate Summit in Copenhagen: China moves to centre stage of the climate negotiations

Publikation: Working paperForskning


Together with the United States, China has moved to centre stage in the running up to the Climate Summit in Copenhagen 7-18 December 2009. To make the Summit a success, the two countries have started signalling positive commitment to formulation of quantitative targets and engage constructively in elaborating a reasonably ambitious, yet realistic framework for the implementation of a new global post-Kyoto regime that will have to take effect from 2012.

China's leadership has already acknowledged that climate change may exacerbate an exceedingly unsustainable development path over the next decades if action is not taken to change its course dramatically. The challenges are formidable, yet the window of opportunity to take action is quite narrow.

For these reasons and due to international pressure, China's position on climate change has been made gradually clearer as the climate negotiations have intensified. The climate change challenge is seen primarily as a developmental issue and the leadership in Beijing argues that China should follow a path that integrates sustainable development, poverty eradication and climate change in a holistic manner to find satisfactory solutions that will guarantee China's right to pursue its own course of development.

China is still a developing country although our perceptions of the situation must adapt to the reality on the ground where a cumula­tive fairly well-off population of over 400 million are located in a sea of over 800 million people who live very much in developing country conditions.

At the same time, China is becoming a global leader, a world power in the making. It has the fourth largest economy in the world and compared to most other developing countries it has in place already a fairly elaborate framework to deal with climate change.

Due to its global position and its sustained pro-active measures to deal with climate change, China is well prepared for the negotiations at the forthcoming Summit in Copenhagen.The main purpose of the paper is to deconstruct the Chinese position and examine its background and which options the Chinese negotiators have at hand. The paper argues that by sorting out its ambitions, priorities and specific implementation measures with regard to mitigation of climate change at the national level, China has placed itself in an advantageous negotiation position vis-à-vis the other major players, especially the US which has been dragging its feet for long.


Udgivelses stedCopenhagen
UdgiverNIAS Press
Antal sider17
StatusUdgivet - 2009

ID: 17242159