Hu Angang is a professor in the School of Public Policy & Management at Tsinghua University as well as Director of the Center for China Study at Tsinghua-CAS (Chinese Academy of Sciences). Hu is a prominent and influential economic adviser and, in 2008, an advocate of the Chinese government taking a more prominent role in cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
Comments on Climate Change
In October 2008, Reuters reported that Hu had argued in both papers and public comments the the Chinese government should make more serious efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions. "I think the Copenhagen summit is a last chance not only for China but also for the world," he told Reuters. Hu advocated that even if Annex I countries don't agree to make steep cuts to emissions that China should as it was vulnerable to rising sea levels.
"When China becomes the top polluter, it must also shoulder its responsibility to reduce emissions....China must assume its due obligations, even though the current leaders haven't grasped this ... If China does not actively cooperate ..., not only China but also globally we will suffer from this disaster ... Now it's already too late, but any later and there's nothing we can do," he said.
In the global negotiations for a successor agreement to the Kyoto Protocol, China has teamed up with the G77 (which is sometimes referred to as G-77/China) and argued that developing country with low per capita greenhouse gas emissions should be allowed to increase their emissions in order to become wealthier before accepting any binding agreements. (See G-77 and climate change negotiations for more details).
While urging strong action, Hu expressed doubts that the COP15 meeting would see national leaders agreeing to the necessary cuts in emissions. "Copenhagen is more likely to fail than succeed," he said. "We just want to use the Copenhagen green summit to make Chinese people and leaders understand that China has a responsibility to the world."
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- Chris Buckley, "China Shying from Climate Obligations - Adviser", Reuters, October 8, 2008.
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