From: Network for economic & social research on environmental issues
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Centre for Asian Pacific
Sent: Tuesday, January 20, 2009 11:59 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Reminder: Call for conference papers: CHINA AND GLOBAL CLIMATE
CHANGE:Reconciling International Fairness and Protection of the Atmospheric
* Apologies for cross-posting*
Reminder: Call for conference papers (Deadline January 31, 2009)
CHINA AND GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE:
Reconciling International Fairness and Protection of the Atmospheric Commons
Conference Dates: 18-19 June 2009
Location: Lingnan University, Hong Kong, China
The Centre for Asian Pacific Studies (CAPS) and the Environmental Studies
Programme (ESP) at Lingnan University, Hong Kong, are jointly organizing a
conference on "China and Global Climate Change." The conference will address
the problem of how to reconcile China's growing greenhouse gas emissions
with the Chinese government's unwillingness to join binding international
commitments to reduce those emissions.
Since the start of international negotiations on climate change in the
1980s, the Chinese government has refused to be bound by commitments to
limit its pollution of the atmosphere. This refusal is based on the
historical responsibility of the world's wealthy countries for past
emissions and China's status as a developing country. President Hu Jintao
recently reaffirmed that China will not commit to mandatory
emissions-reduction targets before the world's wealthy countries take the
lead in addressing global climate change. He has also called on affluent
countries to pay for emissions limitations in China and other developing
Alongside these Chinese concerns about justice and historical responsibility
is the new reality that China has become the largest national source of
pollution causing climate change. Without China's involvement, notably
limitations in its future greenhouse gas emissions, international efforts to
mitigate global warming substantially are unlikely to succeed. This comes
against the backdrop of increasing concerns among atmospheric scientists
that global warming is happening more quickly than predicted, that climate
change will be more severe than anticipated, and that the poorest countries
and people of the world will experience monumental suffering in coming
decades as a consequence.
This conference seeks to assess how China's longstanding concerns about
international fairness and justice can be squared against the pressing need
for an effective international regime that limits greenhouse gas emissions -
including those from China.
CONFERENCE THEMES AND QUESTIONS:
Major conference themes include (1) Practical Considerations, including the
latest findings on greenhouse gas emissions and climate change impacts
related to China's role; (2) Ethical Considerations, including questions of
fairness, justice and human rights related to climate change and China's
role; and (3) Political Considerations, including issues related to the
domestic and international politics of climate change, the international
climate change negotiations, and the political significance in other
countries of China's climate change diplomacy and policies.
We aim to address these and others questions related to China and global
* Is there any common ground between China's concern with development
and international justice, on one hand, and growing greenhouse gas emissions
and the worsening problem of climate change, on the other?
* What must the developed countries do to persuade the Chinese
government to commit to greenhouse gas limitations, and eventually
reductions, in the future? How can they facilitate those limitations?
* Does China's newfound wealth undermine the argument that it should not
be required to limit its greenhouse gas emissions? What ethical arguments
bolster or bring into question China's reluctance to restrain emissions?
* How do the adverse impacts of climate change for China's poorest
people, and indeed for poor people throughout the developing world, affect
China's obligations? Does China have obligations to poorer countries just as
wealthier countries have obligations to China?
* How significant is it, practically, ethically and politically, that
China is going down the same fossil-fuel development path as the West just
as scientists are warning of the severe consequences of doing so? Does it
matter that China's economic emergence has occurred against the backdrop of
improving climate science, whereas the West was historically unaware that
its development path was unsustainable?
* Should China's new wealthy classes be allowed to hide behind China's
developing-country status to avoid lifestyle changes increasingly demanded
of most people, including poor ones, in the world's developed countries?
* How is the failure of Western governments to implement major cuts in
greenhouse gases a political issue in China? Do China's positions on climate
change make it more difficult for developed-country governments to persuade
their constituents to accept the major cuts in greenhouse gas emissions that
will be required to address climate change?
* Are workable and affordable technical solutions available to allow
China to take a different development path so that its people can enjoy the
fruits of modernity without causing monumental harm to the global
environment? How can the West encourage and support those solutions?
* Given that China and the United States are the largest national
sources of greenhouse gas pollution, albeit with very different capabilities
and historical responsibilities, how might they work together to protect the
INVITATION TO PARTICIPATE:
We invite paper proposals from individuals wishing to present papers at the
Hong Kong conference (see below).
We welcome participation by scholars (including advanced postgraduate
students) and practitioners of global environmental policy, climate change
politics, environmental and energy policy, sustainable development,
international relations, environmental foreign policy, China studies and
In conjunction with the conference meeting in Hong Kong, we intend to
introduce a 'virtual' aspect for participants who wish to participate from
outside Hong Kong. Individuals interested in participating online are also
encouraged to submit paper proposals (see below).
All papers will be eligible for publication in the conference proceedings. A
selection of papers will be invited for inclusion in a peer-reviewed book
and potentially in a special issue of a scholarly journal.
Please send the following information via email to [log in to unmask] no later
than 31 January 2009.
PAPER ABSTRACT (up to 300 words):
Please indicate whether the paper is for presentation at the Hong Kong
meeting or through online participation.
We will inform authors of accepted abstracts by 28 February 2009. Further
details of the conference will be forthcoming.
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