Guest essay by Eric Worrall
China is demanding that the USA and other developed countries give China large sums of cash, because the USA owes China and other developing countries for historical US greenhouse gas contributions.
China is also demanding lenient “developing country” accounting oversight over how those climate cash transfers from the USA to China are spent.
China demands developed countries ‘pay their debts’ on climate change
Key sticking point at UN negotiations is how countries should account for their greenhouse gas emissions
China called on rich countries to “pay their debts” on climate change at global talks on Thursday, criticising developed countries for not doing enough to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide finance to help poor countries do the same.
The trenchant intervention by Xie Zhenhua, the minister who leads the Chinese delegation and a veteran of the UN climate negotiations, came as China faced increasing pressure to shift its stance on some of the key rules required to implement the 2015 Paris agreement.
He told a small group of journalists: “Developing countries are not comfortable or happy. [We need to] see if developed countries have honoured their commitments. Still some countries have not started their mitigation efforts, or provided financial support [to poor nations]. We strongly urge them to pay up on their debts.”
Developed countries prefer strict standards but developing countries have historically been allowed some leeway, in recognition that their governance structures and capabilities may lag behind.
But the EU and other developed countries are concerned that large rapidly developing economies such as China are not agreeing to adequate transparency in accounting for their emissions.
Xie said the talks were “deadlocked”, but maintained that China should continue to be treated as a developing country, and that developing countries should have flexibility over transparency rules.
The situation is even more ridiculous when you consider that the US Federal Government is in severe deficit, they borrow billions of dollars every year. Much of that borrowed cash comes from China.
So the Chinese negotiator Xie Zhenhua’s position amounts to a demand that the USA borrow money from China, gift the principle back to China, then repay the loan that they just gifted to China.
My question – would President Obama have agreed the Chinese demand?