China’s reduction commitments will be passed in legislation and included in every forthcoming 5 year economic plan, plans around which China’s economy revolves and through which it delivers “the goods” to its people, He said.
Mark Griffin Smith, a professor of economics and business at Colorado College who spent the last year researching the business of climate change, notes that a key reason people agree to be governed is that government can "deliver the goods" and provide a better quality of life.
"That is the legitimacy of the Chinese government," Smith said.
“They fundamentally cannot take a decision where its people perceive that they are not materially advancing. ... They see it as a question of political stability.”
“They’re looking for the creation of a climatic regime which allows them to continue to make economic progress and so they look at intensity targets, investment in renewable energy, investment in technology that continue them to maintain their economic progress,” Smith explained.
Sameel Huq of the IIED said: “China wishes to be seen as a developing country."
By Friday, Stern had intimated that the U.S. no longer considers China a developing country, saying that is not “in need” of financial assistance to adapt to climate change. Also on Friday, He Yafei said that when China asks for financial adaptation and mitigation assistance, "It's not China asking, it is developing countries. It is the legal obligation of developed countries."
Indeed, China may not need significant financial assistance.
The largest number of CDM projects are located in China. According to Ecosecurities Indonesia Director Agus Sari, via a 2% tax on CDM transactions, China is already the largest contributor to the current form of the adaptation and mitigation fund.
A Climate Group report notes that China’s energy sector is dynamic, as 65% of all solar water heaters are in mainland China, which also manufactures 30% of all solar photovoltaic panels. China’s wind power generation capacity has doubled each year for the past few. Last month at the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, China and Africa concluded a bilateral aid agreement for technology demonstration centers, open market solutions, and loans for small to medium sized enterprises in Africa. NYU estimates , particularly to Latin America and Africa, has greatly increased in the last five years. China’s aid and investment activities in Africa alone totaled over $33 billion from 2002-2007.
That is why on Sunday, it was not at all surprising that He Yafei that China would likely not take funds from a global adaptation and mitigation fund, having made clear on Friday that China’s reduction commitments for 2020 are not based on external assistance.
Even by Saturday evening, the tone from the Chinese had softened. A jovial Su Wei briefed the press on China’s position on the release of agreement draft texts that day, saying, “According to the negotiations and consultations in the last week, I believe that the consultations are positive and it is full of hope that we can achieve outcomes. ... The text show that we are moving forward and making positive progress.” Su added, "We emphasize that it is a party driven and inclusive process.”
In last night's press conference, the conciliatory language held, despite the fact that (as relayed by Ambassador Yu Qingtai) developed countries are insisting behind closed doors that “the Kyoto Protocol will not live beyond 2012.”
“We are ready to have exchanges, consultations, and negotiations with all the parties with a constructive attitude in the last days to work for success of the Copenhagen conference we are ready to make our utmost effort,” Yu said.