Climate Change. How Important Is a Consensus Between the People's Republic of China and the European Union?


Seminar Paper, 2018
15 Pages, Grade: 1,7
Anonymous

Excerpt

Contents

1 Introduction

2 Policy Field: Climate Change

3 Historical overview of the development from economic partners to climate partners

4 Climate Cooperation between China and the EU

5 Emission Trading System

6 Conclusion

7 Literature Review

1 Introduction

On August the 1st, 2018, it was announced that mankind demand on nature exceeds what earth can regenerate that year. The organization Global Footprint Network determines the Earth Overshoot Day based on the resource consumption and the anthropogenic impact on the environment every year. In 1987, the symbolic day was still in December, whereas in 2018 all natural resources had been used up already in August. The reason for this development is the growth of the population and the increase of a consumption intensive lifestyle.1 In consciousness of this negative trend "the EU and China consider climate action and the clean energy transition an imperative more important than ever."2 Especially since the US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement a major role in combating climate change is awarded to China and the European Union. Therefore, this term paper outlines the relevance of a consensus in climate change issues between the People's Republic of China and the EU.

The remaining term paper is organized as follows: Section 2 presents the policy field of climate change. Section 3 presents a short historical overview of the development from mainly economic partners to i.a. climate partners. Section 4 deepens the nexus between China and the EU related to climate and environmental issues. Afterwards Section 5 keeps a closer look to the emissions trading system (ETS) which has become a popular policy instrument to cut carbon emissions. At the end, section 6 offers some concluding thoughts.

2 Policy Field: Climate Change

Over the last 50 decades, meetings and agreements have developed and tried to implement solution approaches to reduce climate changes. Several agreements focused especially on a multilateral level approach such as the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement3

Especially strong economic nations have a large impact to climate change which presents the following table4

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

It is visible in particular the higher share to global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of countries/ regions, which are more welfare or have more manufacturing sectors. In 2016 the highest GHG emission contribution was issued by China, the U.S. and the EU5 However, in most cases especially poorer tropical and subtropical regions are the first to be confronted with huge consequences, such as raising temperature or rainfall, because of climate change and mostly not the manufacturing and consumption intensive ones6 Therefore, one major issue regarding to environmental protection is the question of who does have the ability and finally the incentive to combat climate changes. Furthermore, it is doubted that the aforementioned agreements are necessary due to uncertainty about the consequences of climate change7 which was emphasized recently trough the withdrawal of the U.S. from the Paris agreement.8 In contrast to the U.S. the other two main contributors to GHG emissions, which are the People's Republic of China and the European Union, acknowledge the major threat of climate change9

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which Chin10 and the EU11 endorse and support, climate change is anthropogenic and will have significant adverse impacts to the ecological and finally the social environment.12 Therefore regardless the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, China and the European Union agreed to collaborate in the policy field of climate change.13

3 Historical overview of the development from economic partners to climate partners

The relationship between the People’s Republic of China and EU has been evolving since 1975.14 The connection between these major players has been shaped in particular through economic trade in the beginning. The first trade commitment was in 1978. Then in 1985, an agreement on trade and economic cooperation was concluded, which remains the most important legal framework for relations to this day.15 Nowadays China’s largest trading partner is the EU, and the EU’s second largest trade partner is China.16 Besides, more than 60 sectoral dialogues as well as regular summit and ministerial meetings have developed.17 In 1998 the first China-EU Summit was held with the aim of establishing "a 21st century-oriented long-term and stable constructive partnership between them".18 In order to achieve their mutual interests an annual meeting between them shall strengthen their relationship. Dialogues, consultation and cooperation has been conducted at various levels by China and EU.19 Despite many challenges because of environmental and climate issues as well as altering market conditions, China and the EU announced in serval summits their mutual interest in improving together in this areas and in becoming more sustainable, in the last years. "This relationship has morphed from mainly trade and economic cooperation into a comprehensive and mature partnership".20 Considering the mutual impacts of China and the EU, due to dependency in such areas as trade, as well as their significantly contribution to GHG emissions, among other things by their economic growth, cooperation regarding climate change seems rational.21

4 Climate Cooperation between China and the EU

China and the EU have become from opponents to cooperating partners in international climate change negotiations.22 The EU is known for their efforts in climate policy.23 Whereas China has been a special case, because it is still included in the list of developing countries while being the largest greenhouse gas emitter to date.24 China's rise in the last decades is owe to significant positive results of China's previous growth model which created new jobs and therefore more welfare. However, the rapid growth, e.g. in the manufacturing sector, raised the demand of high energy consumption which caused negative external effects such as increasingly deterioration of the local environmental and global climate.25

[...]


1 Earth Overshoot Day (07-23-2018): Earth Overshoot Day 2018 is August 1. Retrieved November 18, 2018, from https://www.overshootday.org/newsroom/press-release-july-2018-english/.

2 Mathiesen, Karl (06-02-2017): EU China Leaders Joint Statement on Climate Change. Retrieved November 26, 2018, from https://de.scribd.com/document/350072665/Final-Version-EU-China-Leaders-Joint-Statement-on- Climate-Change#from_embed, p. 2f.

3 Gao, Yun: China's response to climate change issues after Paris Climate Change Conference. Advances in Climate Change Research 7, no. 4 (December 2016): pp. 235- 240, p. 238.

4 Olivier J.G.J. et al. (2017): Trends in global CO2 and total greenhouse gas emissions: 2017 report. PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, The Hague, p. 11.

5 Ibid. p. 46.

6 Schiermeier, Quirin (04-20-2018): Clear signs of global warming will hit poorer countries first. Retrieved December 2, 2018, from https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-04854-2.

7 Zürn, Michael (1998): The Rise of International Environmental Politics: A review of Current Research World Politics, Vol. 50, No. 44, pp. 617-649, p. 629.

8 Welfens, P.J.J., Yu, N., Hanrahan, D. et al. Int Econ Econ Policy (07-24-2017) 14: 517. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10368-017-0392-4, p. 526.

9 IISD (International Institute for Sustainable Development) (12-01-2009): EU-China Summit Dominated by Climate Change. Retrieved December 02, 2018, from http://sdg.iisd.org/news/eu-china-summit-dominated-by- climate-change/.

10 Gao, Y.: China's response to climate change issues after Paris Climate Change Conference, p. 236.

11 European Commission (03-28-2017): IPCC Report Summary. Retrieved December 2, 2018, from https://cordis.europa.eu/result/rcn/196269_en.html.

12 Gao, Y.: China's response to climate change issues after Paris Climate Change Conference, p. 236.

13 Welfens, P.J.J., Yu, N., Hanrahan, D. et al., p. 526.

14 European Union External Action (07-16-2018): EU-China Relations factsheet. Retrieved November 27, 2018, from https://eeas.europa.eu/headquarters/headquarters-homepage/34728/eu-china-relations-factsheet_en.

15 Cameron, Fraser (2009): The Development of EU-China Relations, in: Georg, Wiessala von; Wilson, John; Taneja, Pradeep (Eds.): The European Union and China: Interests and Dilemmas, Amsterdam - New York: Rodopi B.V., pp. 47-64, p. 49.

16 European Union External Action: EU-China Relations factsheet.

17 Ibid.

18 Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China. The Long-term Stable Constructive Partnership Between China and the European Union. Retrieved December 2, 2018, from https://www.fmprc.gov.cn/mfa_eng/ziliao_665539/3602_665543/3604_665547/t18040.shtml.

19 Ibid.

20 Reuter, Etienne (2015): Introduction, in: Reuter, Etienne; Jing, Men (Eds.): China-EU Green Cooperation, Singapore: World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., p. xxv- xxxvii, p. xxii.

21 Welfens, P.J.J., Yu, N., Hanrahan, D. et al., p. 531.

22 Heras, Beatriz Perez de las (2015): EU-China Cooperation on Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Mitigation Towards a Potential International Emission Trading Scheme, in: Reuter, Etienne; Jing, Men (Eds.): China-EU Green Cooperation, Singapore: World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., pp. 3-19, p. 3.

23 Welfens, P.J.J., Yu, N., Hanrahan, D. et al., p. 524.

24 IISD (International Institute for Sustainable Development) (12-01-2009): EU-China Summit Dominated by Climate Change. Retrieved December 02, 2018, from http://sdg.iisd.org/news/eu-china-summit-dominated-by- climate-change/.

25 Green, Fergus; Stern, Nicolas (2016): 18. Managing Economic Change and Mitigating Climate Change: China's strategies, policies and trends, in: Ligang, Song et al. (Eds.): China Economic Growth, Australia: ANU Press, pp. 419-448, p. 420.

Excerpt out of 15 pages

Details

Title
Climate Change. How Important Is a Consensus Between the People's Republic of China and the European Union?
College
Peking University  (School of International Studies)
Course
Chinese Perspective on International and Global Affairs
Grade
1,7
Year
2018
Pages
15
Catalog Number
V499652
ISBN (eBook)
9783346034182
Language
English
Tags
Climate Change, China, EU, Cooperation, Emission Trading System, ETS
Quote paper
Anonymous, 2018, Climate Change. How Important Is a Consensus Between the People's Republic of China and the European Union?, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/499652

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