- Strategies against carbon emissions
- Investigations launched against chip industry
- Heat causes energy shortage
- Jimmy Lai pleads not guilty
- Interest rate cuts become a balancing act
- Another US delegation lands in Taiwan
- Profile: Nis Gruenberg – Lead Analyst at Merics
In today’s Profile, Merics researcher Nis Gruenberg talks about a vision from 2004 of what the future might look like if China was an economic power – an abstract idea at the time. 18 years later, that vision is now taking shape. Politically, however, increasingly sharp lines of conflict are emerging in the wake of China’s growing significance. These have the potential to tear open wounds that could destroy global peace.
And yet, governments are doomed to work closely together in this constellation. Namely, when it comes to the fight against global warming. If the climate tips over the critical threshold, there will only be losers anyway. However, countries wait and see what price the others are willing to pay in the form of declining economic growth.
In China, this tactic has a special dimension because the government has to reconcile growth with environmental and climate protection more urgently than in other countries, as Nico Beckert reports. If growth is curbed too much, social divisions threaten the rule of the CP. If too much carbon continues to be blown into the air, the climate will heat up even more. Extreme weather such as heat waves, floods and droughts would deprive China of its livelihoods. Harvests would be endangered and protests could be expected because the government failed to protect the people from disaster.
The recent past has already shown that political stability takes precedence over climate protection in China. What this means for the world is only an abstract idea today. But we will probably have a much more concrete idea of the consequences in 18 years’ time.
Climate change forces its way onto Beijing’s agenda
After last year’s coal crisis, climate change strikes this year and affects the power supply in some Chinese provinces. Factories are at a standstill, crops are at risk, and tens of millions of people are suffering under heat that can last for weeks (China.Table reported). Beijing leaders are facing one of the biggest challenges of the 21st century: How to reduce the massive carbon emissions of the Chinese economy without jeopardizing economic growth and jobs.
The lfW event “Green Growth: What can we expect from China?” explored this question. It quickly became clear what a dilemma the government is in: China must reconcile growth with environmental and climate protection. If growth is curbed too much, social divisions will threaten the rule of the CP. If too much carbon dioxide continues to be blown into the air, the climate will heat up even more. Extreme weather such as heat waves, floods and droughts would deprive China of its livelihoods. Harvests would be endangered and protests could be expected because the government failed to protect the people from disaster.
This poses a challenge for the People’s Republic to quickly decouple growth from carbon emissions, says Sebastian Eckardt, an economist at the World Bank. No country in history has had to transform its economy as quickly as China must now. Continued consumption of coal and other fossil fuels would plunge the world into climate chaos.