Friday, August 3, 2007

China knows how to play The Game

Different groups play The Global Warming Game for different reasons. Individuals and NGOs play for mostly ideological reasons (environmentalism, anticapitalism, Luddism, etc.). Corporations tend to play The Game either because there is a lot of money to be made by playing, or because they can use it to suppress their competition. Nations tend to play The Game for geopolitical reasons -- in other words, the AGW "crisis" can be used to advance a nation's strategic interests.

China has shown itself to be a skilled player of The Game. As the magnitude of that country's contribution to atmospheric pollution (both CO2 and plain old smog) becomes more and more apparent, many have begun to suggest that maybe, perhaps, pretty please, China (which was exempted from Kyoto) ought to think about participating in the reductions most other nations are expected to accomplish.

China has responded to these suggestions with a curt Mind Your Own Business. According to this Xinhua article, the PRC government says that China has little or no obligation to address mitigation any time soon -- rather, fully developed countries should do more to restrict their "luxury" emissions:

"Emissions of subsistence" and "development emissions" of poor countries should be accommodated while the "luxury emissions" of rich countries should be restricted, a Chinese diplomat said here Wednesday.

"Adapting to climate change is as important as mitigating climate change," Liu Zhenmin, China's deputy Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations, told an informal debate of the UN General Assembly on climate change.

Stressing the principles of equity and "common but differentiated responsibilities," Liu urged developed countries to "shoulder in good faith their historical and present responsibilities."

"The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and its Kyoto Protocol remain the international cooperation framework and effective mechanism for addressing climate change," he said.

Liu said efforts to address climate change should be conducive to sustainable development.

"For developing countries, economic development and poverty eradication are overriding priorities," Liu said. "In fulfilling these tasks, controlling greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to the negative impact of climate change to the greatest extent will also contribute to achieving sustainable development."

He said the international community should take full account of the issue of adaptation to climate change and enhancing the capabilities of developing countries, small island developing countries and the least developed countries in particular, to respond to disastrous climate events.

It's just coincidental that China's competitors would be forced to cripple themselves economically in the process.