Hu Angang: “I Openly Call for Emissions Cuts”

China Dialogue interviews top Chinese economist Hu Angang about his view that China mandate reductions in greenhouse gas emissions to deal with global warming. Read Part One and Part Two of the interview:

cd: When it comes to climate change, what would you says China’s “national circumstances” actually are?

HA: First, China is the largest victim of climate change. Second, adapting to climate change is in China’s core interests.

It would be petty of us to discuss how best to haggle with the foreigners at Copenhagen. We should start with the question of China’s own interests. In “The second transformation: construction of state systems”, I wrote that ecological security and environmental protection were two of our five core national interests. And this is not because of pressure from the United States and western nations. Unfortunately, many do not realise that addressing these issues is in China’s own interests, and those of all humanity – they are the shared core interests of China and the rest of the world. If our leaders can realise this, they will agree to make emissions cuts, rather than continuing to refuse. But as you know, I am the only Chinese academic openly calling for emissions cuts, and that is just lamentable. I need to spread this idea, no matter how long it takes. I believe that ultimately it will become the consensus among both China’s leaders and its people. So, that is how I sum up my views on China’s environment and climate change: it’s in China’s core national interests, and I’m saying so publicly.

Read also Hu’s essay on China Dialogue “A new approach at Copenhagen


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