When it comes to climate change, China talks about reducing emissions but keeps building coal plants. So why are environmental groups so soft on China?
By Jane Shaw Stroup for Liberty and Ecology (libertyandecology.org)
When it comes to climate change, China talks about reducing emissions but keeps building coal plants. So why are environmental groups so soft on China? Francis Menton explains on the Manhattan Contrarian.
He notes what two leading environmental groups say about China (and there are more examples):
- Environmental Defense Fund, “Why China is at the center of our climate strategy” (current website): “As the United States steps away from global climate leadership, China is stepping up. EDF has been working there for more than 25 years, and now we’re helping the Chinese government launch a national system to control climate pollution. . . . Fortunately, China is serious about climate action. . . .”
- Greenpeace, per spokesman Yixiu Wu, speaking ahead of a May 2017 summit held by Xi Jinping in connection with the “Belt and Road Initiative,” quoted in Climate Change News: “Given that more than half of China’s outbound investment is in the energy and infrastructure sectors, the belt and road initiative is an opportunity for China to play a leading role in the transition from fossil fuels and toward renewable energy. Prioritising sustainability will cement China’s legacy as it assumes a larger role on the global stage.”
Menton cites a new report from the Global Warming Policy Foundation, written by economist Patricia Adams. “Rather than becoming cautious about China’s role in the world,” she writes, “these [environmental] groups lavish it with praise for its environmental efforts, using superlatives such as ‘herculean’ and ‘momentous.’”
Why? According to Adams, in 2017 Beijing started to keep out or restrict the actions of nonprofit organizations in China. She writes:
“Fewer than 4% of the 553 organizations that remain are what a Westerner would consider an environmental group, and all do Beijing’s bidding.” (Boldface is Adams’)
Read the report in full (click on image).