China’s Peaceful Development and Global Climate Change: A Legal Perspective

Qin Tianbao
Associate Professor,
International Environmental Law of the School of Law,
Wuhan University,
Wuhan, 430072, China


Since the adoption of the reform and opening-up policy, China has witnessed rapid socio-economic progress accompanied by serious environmental problems, such as climate change, which have had a major impact on the global environment and aroused international concern about China’s peaceful development. International law on climate change has taken shape with the core instruments of the 1992 Framework Convention on Climate Change and the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. Under the current arrangement China is temporarily exempt from having to reduce its emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs), although it will face strong pressure to commit to do so in the near future. In order to prepare for future challenges and to ensure peaceful development, it is proposed that China takes the initiative at the international level, participates in events and negotiations on implementation in respect of climate change, stresses the integration of state interests and the common interest of humankind, argues for the responsibility allocation principle of common but differentiated responsibilities of developed and developing countries, and undertakes international cooperation with regards to the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). At the national level, it is advisable that China persists in and develops a legal system that favours recycling and improves policies and laws on energy and resources with a view to consolidate the construction of a conservation-minded society.


China, climate change, environmental protection, peaceful development, scientific outlook on development, international law, Kyoto Protocol, common but differentiated responsibilities.             LEAD Journal - ISSN 1746-5893