Evidence from China and Vietnam as Key Emerging Economies
Leuven Global Governance series
Edited by Hans Bruyninckx, Qi Ye, Nguyen Quang Thuan and David Belis
Chapter 6: The governance of the CDM in China: achievements and deficiencies
In recent decades, rapid economic development based on current patterns of consumption and production has been causing serious harm to nearly all ecosystems worldwide. Natural disasters such as floods, droughts and forest fires are occurring in every region of the planet with increasing frequency. Global climate change, caused by the large-scale emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs) into the atmosphere, seriously aggravates these existing environmental issues, in addition to creating new environmental challenges such as rising sea levels, increased frequency extreme weather events and so forth (IPCC 2007a: 18–28). According to the most optimistic estimates, the risk of severe climate impacts could be mitigated if emissions were stabilized at the level of 445 to 490 ppm (parts per million) of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-eq), limiting the increase in global average temperatures to 2°C. The current level of CO2-eq in the atmosphere is nearly 430 ppm. In combination with cumulative effects related to the build-up of GHGs in the atmosphere, this requires that total global annual emissions in 2050 be between 50 per cent and 85 per cent lower than in the year 2000 (IPCC 2007b: 67). Mitigating climate change is therefore one of the key environmental, economic and societal challenges facing all countries worldwide (Stern 2007: 63) and particularly those with already high or quickly increasing rates of GHG emissions, such as China.
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