Green China

Even McDonald did it… Surfing on the wave of green-washing, the fast food giant took the bet to rebrand itself. The most visible aspect of the campaign has been the greening of its logo. Green McDonald
So, should China attempt a similar move? The country currently sources 70% of its energy needs from coal and, despite notable improvements in efficiency, absolute CO2 emissions are bound to go up for quite some time. To be fair, Beijing has already signaled its commitment to the environment – a White Paper on climate change published in 2008 even set out eco-priorities. Green China
The Copenhagen Summit is of course more than marketing. It is a great opportunity to work with the international community towards a global deal. China, together with other emerging nations, come to the negotiating table with solid arguments to ask for a fair deal: industrialized nations have a historic responsibility for the rise of greenhouse gases (GHG), they currently emit more GHG on a per capita basis and they are the consumers of most goods produced in China. Green UN
Self-enlightened interest should come to the rescue of diplomatic and political games. In the short-run, developing countries will likely suffer most from climatic/environmental degration. But it won’t take that long until the whole community shoulders the burden – a rather classic prisoner’s dilemma where everybody is better off if all cooperate but also with [very limited] room for free riding. It doesn’t take too much thinking to see why the US and the EU should intensify clean-technology transfer to China (and other developing economies), nor why industrialized nations should show moral leadership by “concrete” reduction in their own emissions. In the end, the trade-off between growth and environment really depends on what type of growth the world wants.