Whatever mixture of motives lies behind the announcement by President Xi Jinping that his country’s carbon dioxide emissions will peak before 2030, resulting in carbon neutrality before 2060, China’s climate lead offers the prospect of a new era in world affairs. It alters the face of international negotiations to tackle the climate crisis and boosts hopes that catastrophic global heating can still be avoided. It is not quite a month since the president took everyone by surprise by making the announcement at the United Nations. Cynics immediately began to question his motives. Was he trying to corner the vast market in renewables, was he trying to upstage climate-denying and coal-loving President Trump, was he trying to divert attention from internal human rights issues and Hong Kong, or from accusations against China over the Covid crisis? Was he trying re-cast himself as a world leader on environmental matters? Few seemed generous enough to accept that President Xi was making the announcement because he was genuinely concerned about the effects of climate change on China and the rest of the planet.
Climate News Network 19th Oct 2020 read more »