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Asian power is expected to take a leading role at UNFCCC
Asian power is expected to take a leading role at UNFCCC
Arran Gare, an Australian scholar and an Associate Professor of Philosophy in Swinburne University of Technology, in Melbourne, Australia, who is best known for his work on climate change and environmental philosophy, appreciates China's willingness to "face up to the seriousness of climate change". Gare also believes the Asian power will like to take a leading role at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The UNFCCC opened yesterday to address the worsening, global issues on climate change, from December 7 to 18, in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Gare, who is a consultant to the Chinese Government's Research Office on Ecological Civilizations, said Australia's emissions trading scheme has been an incredibly weak response to climate change problems, whereas China has pursued more pragmatic solutions.

"China faces an enormous challenge to balance the various aspects associated with tackling climate change, but we are seeing them take a more proactive and vocal role in this area," he said.

According to Gare, China has invested a lot of money in alternative technology projects. These include eco-villages which act as test sites for recycling, bio-gases and emerging technology initiatives, and power stations which run on recycled refuse.

"China has realized that it has to take climate change seriously. Unlike western countries who have pushed a lot of their polluting industries into the developing world, China has nowhere else to go," Gare said.

"The manufacturing industry, by far their biggest polluter, underpins the Chinese economy and they know they have to find climate change solutions if they are to survive."

Gare believes China is in a unique position to offer a different global approach to climate change. "It's clear from President Hu Jingto's speech at the United Nations that China is promoting an approach based on the idea of an ecological civilization rather than sustainable development. This represents a very different way of understanding the place and goals of humanity in nature," he said.

He believes this kind of approach aligns China more closely with European climate change models. "They may reach an agreement in Copenhagen but it won't be a very good one. I think the most useful thing to come out of the meeting will be the making of new alliances and I hope we will see China and Europe take a leading role," Gare said.
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