According to the IPCC's Fourth Assessment Report, global emissions of carbon dioxide have to be reduced by about 80 per cent by 2050 in order to stabilise the increase in global temperature at 2 to 2.4°C by 2100 compared with its pre-industrial level. An increase of only 2°C would bring about “acceptable” negative impacts on the eco-systems and the world economy. Without a reduction in CO2 emissions in China, however, it will be hard to achieve this goal. Currently, China is already responsible for about 50 per cent of the worldwide increase in CO2 emissions recorded over the past ten years. On the other hand, it is the industrialised countries that are mainly responsible for the greenhouse-gas emissions of earlier years. Taking the challenges of China's economic growth, its impact on future CO2 emissions and the development of China's climate policy into account, this article develops a new post-Kyoto regime based on cumulative per-capita emission rights.
Oberheitmann, A. and E. Sternfeld (2009), Climate Change in China – The Development of China's Climate Policy and Its Integration into a New International Post-Kyoto Climate Regime . Journal of Current Chinese Affairs, 38, 3, 135-164