Climate change is considered one of the greatest global challenges in the 21st century. China, as a giant player in terms of territory, population and absolute emission of greenhouse gases, is a key country in international climate politics. Its position is fundamental for the design of the future agreement that will replace the Kyoto Protocol and regulate human action on Earth's climate system, ensuring the continuity of the international decisions that build the climate change environmental order. Advocating the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities," China has established its position as one of the leading players of this new order since the beginning, with the signature of the Climate Change Convention in 1992. This article starts from the argument that China's position in international climate change negotiations, although very participative and fundamental to the global decisions on the issue, is defined in terms of developmental interest of the Chinese State. During the negotiations of these conferences, China acted as a leader of the Group of 77 and in defense of its own interests, trying to guarantee its differentiated responsibilities and its classification as a developing country, avoiding to compromise its domestic interests of economic development. The last Climate Change Conference, in Lima, in 2014, maintained the principle of differentiated responsibility, reinforcing the Chinese national interest, even though it established that each country should present its own voluntary emission reduction goals.
Moreira, H. M., & Ribeiro, W. C. (2016). A China na ordem ambiental internacional das mudanças climáticas. Estudos Avancados, 30(87), 213–233. https://doi.org/10.1590/S0103-40142016.30870013