Are there really no climate sceptics in China?
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Are there really no climate sceptics in China?

One of the developing articles of faith for climate change spruikers is that the world’s largest emitter of carbon dioxide, China, is a role model of climate virtue. The reasoning behind this claim is probably that there is no point for us to make an effort if the world’s biggest emitter of carbon dioxide is not.

I caught a glimpse of the televised Climate Commission’s public forum held at Parliament House during which one of our handsomely remunerated Climate Commissioners stated (to paraphrase as best as I can recall):

The Chinese have no doubt about human induced climate change. There is no debate in China.

Oh really?

It seems our climate commissioners must have forgotten about Copenhagen:

Mr Rudd remarked to a group of journalists and aides during the December 2009 summit that: “Those Chinese f**kers are trying to rat-f**k us.”

The angry tirade reportedly came after tense negotiations with the Chinese, who are one of Australia’s most important trading partners, over a binding agreement on reducing carbon emissions.

Mandarin-speaker Rudd – who has often spoken of his love for Beijing, where he worked as a diplomat in the 1980s – believed that the Chinese were frustrating efforts pursued by him and other countries, including the US, to negotiate an agreement.

And if there are no climate sceptics in China, how would you explain this article in the state run, China Daily?

Despite the IPCC’s controversial fourth assessment report concluding that warming of the climate system is “unequivocal”, Xie Zhenhua, China’s top climate change negotiator, said the country is keeping an “open attitude” about global warming when he addressed a Jan 24 forum for BASIC countries – Brazil, South Africa, India and China…

Chinese experts, however, have cast doubt on the link between CO2 concentration levels and the global temperature rise over the past 150 years, which has been the basis of arguments over carbon emissions reduction plans in recent years.

Ge Quansheng, vice-director of geographic sciences and natural resources research for the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said he believes the IPCC may have exaggerated the impact of human activities because of the incomplete collection of climate data.

“The IPCC report offered no definite scientific basis for the sensitivity of climate change to atmospheric CO2 concentration, although a warming trend was witnessed in the latter half of the 20th century.”

Nevertheless, while the Chinese have their doubts about human-induced climate change, it’s little wonder they have no doubts that Australia should buy lots of the solar panels and wind turbines that they produce.

Of course, it can be done relatively cheaply over there thanks to the inexpensive labour and the more flexible environmental standards.

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