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Big Words On Climate Change And International Cooperation


Jake de Grazia
Posted on Thursday 15th April 2010

The scale of economic destruction would be equivalent to that of the two world wars and the Great Depression combined.

Xie Zhenhua said that, about climate change. He is a senior Chinese negotiator in international climate treaty talks. It's a big statement, and many people, Americans especially, will look at China's reluctance to make a binding commitment to emissions reduction and dismiss the statement as empty rhetoric. But David Doniger, Policy Director for the NRDC Climate Center wrote in a blog post on Thursday that the statement (and the larger statement of which it is a part) made him "sit up and take notice:"

Minister Xie’s comments are emblematic of a huge change occurring in China. For years too many American politicians defended doing nothing by pointing at China’s supposed unwillingness to act. And China tended to do the same, pointing at us.

Today China’s leaders get it – they see the threat climate change poses to their own well-being. And more importantly, they see the opportunity in the clean energy economy of the 21st century.

That's a big statement too. Let's hope it's true.

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