China and Climate Politics

The Financial Times reports that Chinese Government officials:

[A]ppeared to cast doubts on Sunday on the scientific consensus on the underlying causes of global warming, with a senior official saying that Beijing had an “open attitude” towards what he described as “disputes in the scientific community” on the issue.

“There is a view that climate change is caused by cyclical trends in nature itself,” Xie Zhenhua, vice-chairman of China’s National Development and Reforms Commission, told a press conference in New Delhi. “We have to keep an open attitude.”

At the same times as expressing these doubts in public, China has urged rich nations to begin handing over the $10 billion pledged at Copenhagen for the least developed island states and African countries. Source, The Washington Post.

All this after China ‘wrecked’ progress on a climate deal last month. A fascinating inside account of how and why China stalled negotiations at Copenhagen was published on 22 December 2009 by the Guardian’s Mark Lynas. In the second paragraph, Lynas asserts:

China’s strategy was simple: block the open negotiations for two weeks, and then ensure that the closed-door deal made it look as if the west had failed the world’s poor once again. And sure enough, the aid agencies, civil society movements and environmental groups all took the bait. The failure was “the inevitable result of rich countries refusing adequately and fairly to shoulder their overwhelming responsibility”, said Christian Aid. “Rich countries have bullied developing nations,” fumed Friends of the Earth International.

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