Climate change is often thought of as an issue that can only be solved through an unprecedented amount of international cooperation. But geopolitical competition could be another path to a more sustainable future.
Scott Moore is a lecturer in political science at the University of Pennsylvania and previously served at the U.S. Department of State, where he worked on the Paris Agreement. His forthcoming book from Oxford University Press, Rethinking China’s Rise: How to Compete and Cooperate on the Environment, Technology, and Beyond, explores China’s role in addressing shared challenges amidst great power competition.
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The United States’s track record in responding to the coronavirus pandemic has been awful. Yet the success of its vaccine development efforts shows that when it comes to biotechnology, the U.S. outpaces China and other rivals.
Xi Jinping made news at this year’s U.N. General Assembly by making a pledge for China to go carbon neutral by 2060. What’s the national security significance of the move?
For decades, China was reluctant to deem climate change a national security issue, preferring instead to view it through the lens of development. The driving concern behind China’s reticence was sovereignty; Beijing feared that crisis rhetoric about climate change would be used to legitimate interventionist actions on the part of Western powers, including forcing Beijing to curtail its economic growth.