GT Voice: West cannot use climate issues as a weapon against China in Glasgow

Photo climate: VCG

While commending China for its actions in recent years in the fight against climate change in a speech on Monday, UN Secretary-General António Guterres called on China to set “ambitious” goals to fight climate change. against the environmental crisis in the run-up to the 26th UN climate meeting. Change Conference (COP26) to be held in Glasgow, UK.

Coming at a time when the US and some Western countries appear to be stepping up pressure on China to make more commitments ahead of the key summit, Guterres’ remarks were quickly seized on by some Western media to repeat claims clichés and criticisms of China’s commitments to combat climate issues. In doing so, they blatantly ignore China’s bold plans and efforts, while completely ignoring the incredible inaction of the United States, one of the world’s biggest polluters.

Indeed, ahead of the Glasgow summit, there is an increasingly evident trend that the United States and some of its Western allies are trying to pressure China into signing more pledges and even using the issue of climate change as a new tool in their geopolitical strategy. containment campaign against China. That doesn’t bode well for the most important climate talks since 2015.

In addition to targeting China, the United States and other advanced Western economies will likely try to pressure developing countries, such as China and India, for more concessions at the Glasgow summit. Developing countries have long criticized developed countries for their double standards and failure to do enough to match the damage they have caused over the years.

As for China, contrary to skepticism and pressure, the country made what were widely seen as bold commitments and moved quickly to deliver them. China has pledged to peak its carbon emissions by 2030 and become carbon neutral by 2060. In September, China announced that it would stop funding new coal-fired power plants at the stranger.

It is already making targeted efforts in these areas. On Tuesday, China’s State Council, the cabinet, released a new action plan to achieve those goals, promising to increase wind and solar capacity to up to 1,200 gigawatts by the end of 2030.

Such actions are in line with China’s domestic policies and long-term development goals. China’s economy is transforming into a model of quality growth by moving away from energy-intensive industries. It should also be noted that a large part of China’s greenhouse gas emissions is closely linked to economic and trade ties with the United States and Europe, highlighting the need for coordination and global cooperation in this regard.

However, the United States and its allies have no way of using climate pledges as a weapon against China. It would be unrealistic for them to use the issue to force China into making concessions contrary to its national interests.

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi already made this position clear during his meeting with US climate envoy John Kerry in early September. The United States hopes to make climate cooperation an “oasis” within the broader China-US relationship, but if the “oasis” is surrounded by “desert”, the “oasis” will sooner or later become a desert, Mr. Wang said.

Climate change is a common challenge facing all of humanity, but the pace of climate action varies from country to country due to different stages of development. The Glasgow summit provides a desperately needed platform to coordinate global efforts. However, allowing certain powers to play geopolitical tricks will certainly undermine any potential outcome of the meeting.

Teresa H. Sadler