Chapter

Responsibility for emissions and aspirations for development

Olivia Bina

in China's responsibility for climate change

Published by Policy Press

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9781847428134
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447301844 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781847428134.003.0003
Responsibility for emissions and aspirations for development

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This chapter looks more deeply at climate change and the rights to development often asserted by China. It holds that economic growth and environmental protection have never been in such conflict as they are now. The chapter argues that ‘the climate change crisis is the ultimate expression of unsustainable patterns of growth’. The tension surrounding climate change negotiations is closely linked to the unresolved question of how to reconcile aggressive pursuit of economic growth with the Earth's ecological limits. After linking climate change to economic growth, the chapter explores the question of responsibility for limiting GHG emissions as it relates to the pursuit of economic development. China's leaders have an opportunity to embark on a development path that avoids ‘undifferentiated irresponsibility’ of all countries, rather than the common but differentiated responsibility which has been agreed in international climate negotiations.

Keywords: economic growth; China; environmental protection; climate change; GHG emissions

Chapter.  8612 words. 

Subjects: Urban and Rural Studies

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