China – US Climate Change Talks: China Still Resolute on its Commitments

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By Alan Collins Mpewo

While China’s role in the new world as is today get downplayed due to the geopolitical nature, sometimes its contribution to world stability cannot be dismissed. Climate change is a topic that concerns all, regardless of race and origin. Climate change is to be greatly faulted on human activity and China very much knows that its population (the highest globally) contribute not less than 19% of carbon emissions for example. Such numbers are not only dire but call for a joint fight because the collective data shows that everyone globally has a crucial role to play in mitigation of the probable consequences. It’s of little wonder therefore, that a US Envoy was in Beijing on 17’th July, 2023 over the same talks on climate. In deed, US Envoy John Kerry acknowledged on 20’th July, 2023 on the need of a common purpose without a look at any possible differences in a bid to contribute to the already ongoing implementation of the Glasgow Climate Change resolutions.

China hasn’t only been running internal policies to mitigate the climate change consequences, but has also showed commitment by formalizing such objectives with treaties, agreements, and memorandum of understandings with various global stakeholders. Sometime in 2021, China and a collection of other African partners under the Forum on China (FOCAC) assembled at yet another ministerial conference in Dakar, Senegal to which resolutions were later made. While global international relations centers have majorly focused on the economic implications for both parties to the FOCAC communique, they bury their attention to some other salient resolutions therein.


It goes therefore without saying that before the Glasgow Convention, China has always publicly showcased its unreserved commitment to making earth yet safe for all that live on it. The Dakar Action Plan is meant to span from 2022 to 2024. Point 7 goes with the title “Green Development.” The center stage of this action plan is to lower and perhaps mute the use of fossil and other carbon emitting fuels in the near future. China understands the negative effects that come with large amounts of carbon emissions. People globally have been losing their lives at young ages or their lifespans cut short, due to the chronic illnesses and other effects they have on mankind.

The fight for green development in China has mainly been based on renewable energy such as wind and the sun. Wind energy and solar energy as the epitome of this action plan. China has since encouraged the Global South to take this route, and by doing so, led the way into setting up de-carbonization campaigns in some townships like some that form part of Shanghai, in order to pave way for more establishments of windmills the coastal areas of the country where there is more wind pressure to propel gigantic windmills. This system has since worked, and although there isn’t much energy to be emitted to every household, and limited hours of potential use, it’s a positive step towards realizing global climate change mitigation.

Under 7.1.1, the African partners and China agreed that this point would be to propel global environmental governance. There had been exchanges in terms of expertise, logistics, and technology in as far as climate change mitigation can be achieved. Of the end goals, was ecological protection, and this has been seen for example in Uganda with the various environment impact assessments that have been done with the Albertine region in Uganda. The wildlife of Buliisa Game Conservation Area, the relocation of persons in the affected sites to new areas with newer areas of residence, and available safe methods of mitigating any potential consequences.

Be that as it may, there is the China-Africa Cooperation Center that has been operating with a goal of realizing that which has been agreed on by the partner states on the environmental conservation front. While it faces challenges which were realized at the time of issuing the Dakar Action Plan, there’s soon to be established a China-Africa Marine Science and Blue Economy Cooperation Center. Revitalizing China’s role in environmental conservation while responding to climate crisis by cooperation with partners of FOCAC under the China Africa Environmental Cooperation Center will be pivotal in maintaining the perfect balance of climate diplomacy. 10 green development projects are set to be a implemented on the Africa continent by China appreciating the continent’s role on global climate stabilization.

It can’t be Intentional to overlook the role of the youth in the climate change fight. While FOCAC partner states know the importance of all ages, they understand that the youths are the solid grounds of tomorrow. The trajectory of societal habits and various determinants inform society that the future isn’t going to be any better with the growth in technology, mechanics, and antagonisms that often come with wars. For Africa, vegetation cover has been fairly maintained and this has since been rewarding in climate change mitigation. Thus, FOCAC sought it wise to propagate the Green Envoys and Green Innovation Programs. These and their sister programs have much focus on the youth to enable them spark their abilities and desire to take part in the conversation efforts, but with more impact for the future.

Alan Collins Mpewo, is a Lawyer and Senior Research Fellow, Development Watch Centre.




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