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China – a leader on climate?

China – a leader on climate? 23 November 2017

China is more assertive than ever about its climate leadership ambitions, as 195 countries head to Bonn for the annual UN summit
(via Climate Home)

By Li Jing

At a five–yearly party congress in mid–October, president Xi Jinping for the first time spelled out China’s ambition to take up “the driving seat” of international debate on climate change.

Many are looking to the world’s biggest emitter to fill the leadership role that Donald Trump’s US has vacated. Chinese officials take pride in the country’s contribution to cementing the Paris climate accord and its shift towards less carbon–intensive growth.

“Xi’s high profile announcement at the party congress, the most important political gathering, effectively ends domestic debates about whether China should step up,” says Greenpeace senior advisor Li Shuo.

Yet the country’s biggest influence over global affairs comes with its trillion–dollar overseas investment plan, known as “belt and road”. This has a huge carbon footprint, experts warn.

Hailed by Xi as the “project of the century”, the strategy spans 69 countries, rolling out infrastructure that could make or break the Paris agreement.

Read more via Climate Home…