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'Ecological civilisation': an empty slogan or will China act on the environment?

Xi Jinping's vision for a greener future was showcased at the UN biodiversity summit in Kunming this week, but what does it mean for China and the world?This week, China took charge of hosting a major UN environmental conference for the first time, at the opening of Cop15 in Kunming. The world's biggest greenhouse gas emitter and largest consumer of natural resources might seem a strange choice to host talks to stop the destruction of ecosystems and mass extinctions of wildlife, but the conference marks a tipping point in China's development and an international debut for "ecological civilisation", a little-known phrase outside its borders with big implications for the planet.Amid uncertainty around whether President Xi Jinping will attend critical climate talks at Cop26 in Glasgow, the environmental slogan is at the heart of a potential misunderstanding between China and the west. Some commentators have been quick to suggest that Xi's reported absence is proof that China has reverted to type, an example of the world leaders that "talk but don't do" who have so irritated the Queen. But others point out that Xi, who has not left China since last year - he did not attend the UN general assembly in New York - and did not even travel to Kunming for the Cop15 summit that China was hosting this week, has been clear about his guiding principles on the environment. Continue reading...
Zdroj: The Guardian

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