The Chinese Communist Climate Trap

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China climate smog beijing
An elderly man walks in front of a group of people during heavy smog at a the Temple of Heaven park in Beijing on December 20, 2016. Heavy smog suffocated northeast China for a fifth day on December 20 that year, with hundreds of flights cancelled and road and rail transport grinding to a halt under the low visibility conditions. (Image: WANG ZHAO/AFP via Getty Images)

Commentary

The Canadian International Forum for Rights and Security (IFFRAS) has said that China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which spreads across five continents, is proving to be detrimental to the environment. Ninety percent of its carbon-intensive energy projects operate on fossil fuel, creating carbon (co2) and exacerbating environmental damage. Yet, the Chinese regime deems the BRI a ‘sustainable and green project.’

According to a report by the World Resource Institute (WRI), fossil fuel projects made up 91 percent of the energy sector loans between 2014 and 2017 and were financed by Chinese state banks — the China Development Bank and China Exim Bank. 

The International Relations and Defence Committee published a recent report, UK and China’s security and trade relationship: A strategic void to address the UK’s government’s ambiguous strategy in dealing with China.

One of the key conclusions and recommendations from the report is as follows: ‘The challenge of climate change cannot be addressed without engagement with China. We call on the Government to explain how it will include considered cooperation with China on climate change as part of its China strategy. This is particularly important given the UK’s leadership role at COP26.” The UK is hosting the U.N. climate change conference with Italy in November 2021.

U.S. President Joe Biden, along with other world leaders, has made tackling climate change a top priority. Last week, US Climate Envoy John Kerry travelled to Tianjin, China, to forge “cooperation with the iron fist” and echoed that “the world can’t solve the climate crisis without China’s engagement and commitment.” He met the Chinese climate envoy Xie Zhenhua.

Kerry and Xie go back to 2015 at the signing of the Paris Climate Agreement when Kerry was President Obama’s Secretary of State. “Mr Kerry and Mr Xie have held about 18 meetings since the start of the Biden administration.” That indicates that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) sees climate change as a form of leverage. 

Double standards

China is a huge carbon dioxide emitter.

The Scientific American reports that “China’s annual carbon dioxide emissions are about the same as those of the next three biggest emitters combined: the United States, the European Union and India.’’ 

Chinese leader Xi Jinping pledged to make China carbon neutral by 2060. But under the Paris Climate Agreement, China is considered a developing country. Which means they can increase their carbon emissions until 2030.

During the Paris Agreement, China stated that “It prefers its major economic and strategic competitors lead decarbonisation at great expense, both to render them less competitive and to pioneer best practices by trial and error.”

In other words, the Chinese regime wants the US to cut carbon emissions while China is allowed to increase emissions because this gives China an economic advantage. Even after pledging to cut emissions, China went on a coal spree by building coal-fired power plants faster than the rest of the world combined. Officials have said China has “no other choice” but to rely on coal power for now.

The CCP is not particularly concerned about emissions. Back in 2019, a Nature magazine article reported that China was busted for rogue emissions of an ozone-depleting chemical, CFC-11, a direct violation of the Montreal Protocol, a legally binding international treaty that China signed, proving that the Chinese Communist Party has little regard for environmental commitment and integrity.

How to get the Chinese regime to cooperate with climate policies?

Do we need to compromise our values and turn a blind eye to human rights atrocities and genocide, or will China spout political demands in exchange for climate cooperation? Al Jazeera reported that questions are being asked such as: “Do we allow Chinese firms to sell solar panels produced by persecuted Uyghurs or sanction them? How about enticing China to stop financing coal-fired energy projects in other countries by promising to uphold their narrative and censoring anyone that makes them look bad. Maybe we could abandon Taiwan? Or perhaps Trump’s trade tariffs could be lifted?”

Compromising principles for carbon reduction? 

The Biden administration promised that “cooperation with Beijing on climate would not water down US efforts to hold China accountable on other issues, including…economic and human rights abuses.”

But danger lies in people parroting the Communist Party’s demands. Such as the environmental groups who unknowingly ‘cheer lead’ their agenda. Politico stated that back in July, “Over 40 progressive groups sent a letter to President Joe Biden and lawmakers…urging them to prioritise cooperation with China on climate change and curb its confrontational approach over issues like Beijing’s crackdown on Hong Kong and forced detention of Uyghur Muslims.”  The letter writers blame the “US demonisation of China for being a major barrier to global climate talks and the solution being multilateralism, diplomacy, and cooperation with China.”

There’s a philosophical difference between how the ‘free world’ and China treat the environment. For example, the idea behind artificial climate change is to cut carbon emissions to lessen our impact on global warming. In other words, man should stop changing nature. But the Chinese Communist Party’s philosophy is that man should change nature. In fact, Chairman Mao said that “man must conquer nature.”

The authors of the Foreign Policy article argue that the only way for the U.S. to get Beijing actually to cooperate is through climate competition, including using carbon taxation. In other words, make it economically costly for the CCP to keep increasing its carbon emissions. Literally, make them pay for it.

According to a WSJ opinion article, the EU is already planning to do this with a carbon border tax. Reuters reported that the Chinese regime resents and complains that it violates trade principles. Yet, this callous regime has no qualms in violating human rights by persecuting people for their beliefs and exploiting them with slave labour, such as making solar panels to meet the ‘green agenda’ demands.

The Chinese state commodifies prisoners of conscience, sells their body organs and commits genocide which somehow gets knocked off the stage by the talk of “ecocide.” Let’s be clear, this murderous Marxist regime does not care about the environment, only its political survival, which depends on capital. Multilateralism and cooperation is only something ‘they’ promote when profit calls. 

By Natalie Nesbitt.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Vision Times.