04/23/2021 – China ‘neutralised Human Rights Criticism, Not Carbon’ During Climate Crisis Summit

Posted on Apr 23, 2021

source: https://www.republicworld.com/world-news/china/china-neutralised-human-rights-criticism-not-carbon-during-climate-crisis-summit.html

As World leaders called for global cooperation,China used the Leaders Summit on Climate to neutralise the widespread condemnation of its human rights violations

Written ByAstha Singh

From the US President Joe Biden to French President Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister Narendra Modi– as these World leaders from around the world called for global cooperation to tackle the climate crisis, China on the other hand used the Leaders Summit on Climate to neutralise the widespread condemnation of its human rights violations.

Jianli Yang, a former political prisoner in China and Aaron Rhodes, who is president of the Forum for Religious Freedom-Europe said in an opinion article for The Hill– that by providing China with its own “public relations opportunity”, the event may well be judged by history as emblematic of the process by which China neutralised not its carbon emissions, but opposition to its human rights atrocities and aggression.

The headline of the joint opinion article read, “For China, a summit to neutralise criticism, not carbon”

“The summit will allow Chinese leader Xi Jinping to pose with Biden as a heroic global co-leader in the campaign to save the world from environmental catastrophe. Xi apparently is happy to share the glory with Biden; it articulates with other efforts to offset negative impressions left by China’s illegal assault on democracy in Hong Kong, threats against Taiwan, and exploitation of small, weak countries caught in China’s debt traps, not to mention Uyghur policies that Biden’s own Secretary of State has termed “genocide”, as per the article.READ | China’s President Xi Jinping will join Joe Biden for virtual climate summit this week

Community of common human destiny

“Xi’s pledge to reach carbon neutrality by 2060 is intended to project China’s image as a responsible major power, by seizing the high moral ground on climate politics, folding it into the concept of a “community of common human destiny,” which is prominent among his repertoire of platitudes,” the article added.

Jianli and Rhodes further stated that transition to a renewables-based industrial sector would mean up-skilling workers and completely dismantling existing factories. But China’s government is yet to even present a detailed plan of how it aims to bring carbon emissions to zero in the next 40 years.READ | Australia cancels Belt & Road agreement with China, says it goes against national interest

“Indeed, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) cannot fulfil Xi’s environmental promises and remain in power; they would slow China’s growth and lead to the erosion of middle-class support for the regime,” they added.

Both cited China’s dreadful environmental record and wrote, Xi’s ‘gesture’ appears little “more than a cynical bid for appeasement by world leaders, banking on the premise that America and other major democracies are more worried about pollution than freedom, human rights and democracy in China and around the world”.

Carbon neutrality 

Xi has claimed that by 2060, China would achieve carbon neutrality and to peak, carbon emissions by 2030 come as coal generation rose in China in 2020, while falling elsewhere — making it the only G20 nation to see a significant jump in coal-fired generation.

China is now responsible for more than half (53 per cent) of the world’s coal-fired electricity, up from 44 per cent in 2015, as per a report by research from Ember, a London-based energy and climate research group.

China has received applause for its clean environmental speeches at climate change and environmental events, over the years. However, ground reality narrates a completely different story as China continues to be the largest coal producer globally. Despite making tall speeches about the road to have a clean environment, the Chinese government reportedly plans to add coal storage facilities in 2020 to ensure stockpiles at or above 15 days’ normal supply for coal-driven power plants. 

(With ANI Inputs)