The Big Ideas

Why China Will Go Green - Really
Why China Will Go Green - Really

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February 13, 2021
BIG IDEA | ‘To Communist Party leaders, greenery increasingly aligns with their economic and political interests. China, a populous country that is cruelly lacking in clean water and arable farmland, and which hates having to rely so heavily on imported energy, has a selfish interest in embracing what President Xi Jinping calls “ecological civilisation”.’

‘Last September, in a speech to the UN General Assembly, Mr Xi unexpectedly committed his country to carbon neutrality by 2060.’‘China’s ambitions are disruptive because they are newly credible.’

  • ‘They are credible, not because it has been converted to selfless acts of sacrifice, but precisely the opposite.’

‘To Communist Party leaders, greenery increasingly aligns with their economic and political interests.’

  • ‘China, a populous country that is cruelly lacking in clean water and arable farmland, and which hates having to rely so heavily on imported energy, has a selfish interest in embracing what President Xi Jinping calls “ecological civilisation”.’

‘Though the Chinese public is not very focused on climate change, citizens care deeply about clean air and water.’

  • ‘They stage frequent demonstrations against pollution.’

‘In the words of a European diplomat, Mr Xi is convinced that “ecology is key to China’s renaissance and is part of the social contract between the Communist Party and the people.” '

  • ‘China also wants to enhance its global reputation, the diplomat adds: “China cannot be Number One, which is of course its aspiration, without being a climate leader.” ’