COP27: China Ponders Climate Compensation Mechanism

    COP27: China Ponders Climate Compensation Mechanism
    Last updated Nov 10, 2022
    Image credit: AP [via Al Jazeera]


    • Speaking at the COP27 climate conference in Egypt on Wednesday, China's climate envoy Xie Zhenhua said his nation would be willing to help create a mechanism to help poorer countries negatively impacted by climate change. However, he noted that China has no obligation to do so.
    • Xie's statement comes after China said it would halt all climate dialogue with the US in response to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's trip to Taiwan in August. This development occurred despite a US-China deal at COP26 in Glasgow last year.
    • A PRC delegation spokesperson later said that while Beijing is willing to "cooperate" with developing countries, they would not make a financial contribution. Xie added that China has already given hundreds of millions of dollars for such mitigation efforts.
    • US special envoy John Kerry on Wednesday said China should support efforts financially, especially if Beijing plans on continuously increasing emissions. Xie called Kerry "his friend of 25 years" but claimed he never raised the issue with him in private talks.
    • Though Kerry admitted negotiations aren't currently working properly, White House advisor John Podesta added that he believes China should include methane reduction as part of its pledge.
    • China defended its stance by citing the World Trade Organization's designation of China — the world's second-largest economy — as a developing nation, also noting the damage the PRC has suffered from extreme weather. Xie also argued that it's China, not the US, who is open to talks.


    Pro-China narrative

    Despite still being behind the US and Europe in its economic evolution, China has already decreased its annual energy intensity and carbon emissions. With developed countries still failing to fulfill their decade-old promise to contribute $100B per year to mitigation efforts, it's only reasonable to ask them to step up before calling on China to do more.

    Anti-China narrative

    As a nation supposedly in tune with global economic trends, China should be on board with the US in its plan to protect poor countries facing climate-related disasters. The PRC should break down its barriers to dialogue and come to the table. Beijing is a massive emitter of greenhouse gasses, but there are opportunities to discuss opportunities for global green energy investments to benefit all parties too.

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