Zhu Xufeng: Low Carbon Cooperation and Global Leadership


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ZHU Xufeng, Associate Professor, NanKai University.

Presentation to the UK-China Innovation Workshop for Sustainable and Equitable Development, Tsinghua University, 19 March 2010, co-organised by China Institute for Science and Technology Policy (CISTP) at Tsinghua University and the STEPS Centre.


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Zhu Xufeng: Low Carbon Cooperation and Global Leadership

  1. 2. <ul><li>Zhu, Xufeng, “Emissions: taking a collaborative lead will work better,” Nature , Vol. 462, 10 December, 2009. (300 words) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This speech is an expanded and updated report for the review. </li></ul></ul>
  2. 3. Three major players in the climate change initiatives USA EU (UK, FR, GER…) BASIC (Bra, SA, IND, CHN) The umbrella group
  3. 4. Who is the leader in Climate initiatives <ul><li>The Bush Administration </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In 2001, President Bush refused to sign on “The Kyoto Protocol”, resulting the US lost its leadership in climate negotiations. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Kyoto Protocol was promoted by the EU after the US withdrawal. </li></ul></ul>
  4. 5. <ul><li>“ Calling for the United States to step up to a leadership role in international climate negotiations” </li></ul><ul><li>( Nature Reports Climate Change 2 , 127-129; 2008) </li></ul>As the then Democratic presidential candidate of the US
  5. 6. Who is the leader in Climate initiatives <ul><li>The Obama Administration </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Obama’s ambition to step up the leadership role in climate negotiations. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The only achievement was “ American Clean Energy and Security Act ” approved by the House in June, 2009. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Democrats lost a senator seat in Massachusetts to the G.O.P. Scott Brown, a climate skeptic. (59:41) </li></ul></ul>
  6. 7. Who is the leader in Climate initiatives <ul><li>The Obama Administration </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Jan 27, Obama’s state-of-the-nation address supports the climate legislation. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Institutional innovation: “cap and dividend” vs. “cap and trade” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The mid-term election late 2010 will impact the climate legislation. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Scholars’ discussions on the feasibility of a climate framework without the US. </li></ul></ul>
  7. 8. Who is the leader in Climate initiatives <ul><li>Europe </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Achievement to the commitment of the Kyoto Protocol. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The pilot Carbon Trade Market for years. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Some west Europe countries, such as UK’s Pathway toward a Low Carbon Economy. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ambition for the leadership in initiatives in addressing climate change. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>But the Copenhagen summit disappointed the EU. </li></ul></ul>
  8. 9. A Leadership Role? <ul><li>How to define a Leadership role in addressing climate change? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not a self-defined concept, but counts on recognition from developing nations. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not just an opinion leader, but the one in actual action. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Become global leaders of the future low-carbon economy, and have a greater influence on the world stage. </li></ul></ul>
  9. 10. Take a leadership in tech cooperation <ul><li>Benefit from the tech cooperation with developing countries </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Many carbon emission reduction technologies are still at an experimental stage. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Some countries are leading other countries in the research and development of these technologies. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They need to expand the scope of the experiments to test the feasibility of commercial use of these technologies. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Construction and markets in developing nations. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tech cooperation offers a good opportunity for developed countries to apply their newly developed technologies to be “dominant designs”. </li></ul></ul>
  10. 11. Take a leadership in tech cooperation <ul><ul><li>Tech cooperation is usually regarded good for developing countries. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In the long run, tech cooperation with developing countries is helpful for developed countries to obtain their leaderships in the climate change realm </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The industrialized country that technically cooperates best with developing nations will spread their technologies toward the world. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Retain the leadership in the world technologically, economically, and politically. </li></ul></ul>
  11. 12. Conclusion <ul><li>Major developing nations are players in the climate initiatives but do not intend to be leaders. </li></ul><ul><li>Major developing nations can help developed countries to step up the global leadership. </li></ul><ul><li>Europe have practiced tech cooperation with developing countries for years, providing the foundation for the future cooperation. </li></ul><ul><li>Europe can obtain a global leadership role in the future’s low carbon economy. </li></ul><ul><li>Europe, are you ready? </li></ul>
  12. 13. Thanks for your attention