The United Nations considered China a developing nation in 1992, however, things have now changed as the country is now the world’s second-largest economy. “China is the biggest annual emitter of planet-warming greenhouse gases,” The Washington Post reported. However, the UN’s classification for China has remained the same for the past thirty years.
According to diplomats from developed nations, the classification has enabled China to avoid paying for helping poor nations to tackle the effects of climate change. The discussion over how much China needs to pay to those countries who are affected by global warming has intensified after the recently concluded United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Egypt. At the end of the COP27 summit, negotiators from nearly 200 nations agreed to create a fund to compensate vulnerable nations for addressing issues related to climate, including rising seas and storms. China will unlikely pay the fund despite the “country’s rising contribution to greenhouse gases,” The Washington Post cited analysts.
Notably, China has allied itself with more than 100 developing nations that have pressurised the rich nations for additional financial aid at the UN climate summits held in the past. Li Shuo, a senior policy adviser at Greenpeace East Asia, said, “The facts are clear: China is the largest emitter in the world now.”
Li Shou called it a “very valid question” to speak about the growing responsibility of China on international platforms, The Washington Post reported. Chinese policymakers do not agree with the suggestion that China should be considered a developed nation. According to Chinese policymakers, China continues to have extreme poverty in the country.
Chinese policymakers have stressed that the United States has pumped more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than any other nation in history. Byford Tsang, a senior policy adviser at the international climate think tank E3G, stressed that China continues to remain with developing nations on the funding issue, as per the news report.
Byford Tsang said that more prosperous developed nations have helped China in taking the stance as these nations have not worked on the commitment to climate finance. Chinese officials have not announced whether they will contribute to the fund. Notably, delegates at the COP27 summit agreed on a ‘loss and damage fund’, as per the news report.
Responding to the question regarding the funding at COP27, Chinese climate envoy Xie Zhenhua said that Beijing “strongly” supports the statements made by developing nations for ‘loss and damage’. Xie pointed out that China is a developing nation and has faced losses due to climate disasters in 2022.