The Chinese stance, that no cap on carbon emissions will ever exist no matter how high, may be a product of China's belief in a cold and hard, and potentially true, reality-that global economic power is paramount and will provide the only avenue to adapt to an inevitable climate crisis, as well as achieve the milestones of superpower status, many of which they have already achieved (e.g., Olympic Games, World Expo, United Nations Security Council). While China's policy remains problematic, as is United States' failure to lead in the international community on the issue of climate change, China's actions, while globally irresponsible, may be very reasonable if solely defined by Chinese domestic interests. The question is whether China's dramatic economic rise comes with more responsibility, and what is the responsibility of the United States in light of its existing and historical economic prowess and level of energy consumption.
Jason J. Czarnezki, Climate Policy & U.S.-China Relations, 12 Vt. J. Envtl. L. 659 (2011), http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/lawfaculty/915/.