No. 82 – June 2016
Authors: Lorenzo Maestripieri
As of November 2015, the official participation of China to the international environmental regime had been deluding. In the Conference of Parties bringing all the main international actors together, it seems that something has been finally achieved, with China claim of emission reduction in the next few years. But is this claim trustworthy? The objective of this report is to trace a chronological reconstruction of the main reasons underlying the Chinese choice of not taking part to the environmental regime as of 2015; this in order to give the reader an overall description of the situation and make him/her capable of better analysing the present debate around the importance of the COP21 in Paris and the national reduction claims. The research has mainly been based on academic literature, that is borrowing and comparing articles and book on the subject, with the aim of developing a thorough analysis. By this research it has been found that the main cause of action, or lack of it, in the Chinese government, has been economic interest, both at the national and the individual level, leading the country to the decline of international environmental treaties and conventions. Thus, China aims of developing its economic potential to the maximum possible grade has brought the subsequent governments to take harsh environmental decisions notwithstanding the contrasting positions of the international arena and civil society. It is still a matter of discussion whether the new five-years plan and the outcome of the COP21 will exert a strong influence over the decision making process.