Ever wondered about the impact of the UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol on China? Carla Peng provides answers in Chapter 14 in the book China's Influence on Non-Trade Concerns in International Economic Law

The controversial decision of President Donald Trump of the United States to step out of the Paris Agreement might be seen as the beginning of a new era of global efforts to tackle climate change. The stunned eyes of the world seeking a new global leader in the climate change field have soon begun to turn their eyes to China, together with the United States, is the biggest emitter of greenhouse gas emissions. In contrast to the United States, China has confirmed its commitment to combat climate change and to actively participate in global efforts related therewith. However, this transformation from a notorious polluter to a vocal supporter of the fight with climate change did not happen overnight. Carla Peng, in her chapter titled “The Impact of the Kyoto Protocol and UNFCCC on Chinese Law and the Consequential Reforms to Fight Climate Change” in the book “China's Influence on Non-Trade Concerns in International Economic Law” provides an in-depth analysis of the impact of international climate change regulation on China and traces the evolution of policy and legislative developments in related fields at national level. Based on her evaluation, she dares to provide predictions concerning the possible future outlook of China's internal struggles to implement effective climate change regulation at national level; as well as China's role in the climate negotiations at an international level. The analysis unveils the uneasy fate of China as a country full of contradictions, stuck somewhere in the middle of the way between developed and developing countries. On the one hand, China's population is, by many standards, relatively poor, but economic growth represents a legitimate objective of the country. On the other hand, the rapid economic growth is also a burden for China, as it is the reason for its membership (and leadership) among the world's biggest polluters. Thus, global efforts to tackle climate change are meaningless without China's contribution. The pressure exerted on China by the international community might mark a new era of cooperation between China and “developed” countries: as a developing country, China should be able to avail itself of the benefits associated with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, i.e. China might, for instance, make use of available financing mechanisms and technology transfer. However, it is questionable whether technology transfer is not feared by developed countries, as it could also accelerate China's transformation to a global leader in other fields. The story of China's role in the climate change field is also a story of a country, which has learned to embrace the new responsibilities to constructively foster international efforts to combat climate change. China is gradually evolving – if it has not already evolved – into a strong and reliable partner of the international community in the climate change field. Carla Peng's analysis invites the interested readers to learn more about these highly relevant developments.