There is a growing case to be made that, of the world’s major economies, China’s is most heavily exposed to climate risks. This talk—part of the Fairbank Center’s Environment in Asia series—probes the implications of climate risk and extreme weather for China’s future, including its impact on China’s growth prospects; its role in driving Beijing’s climate policy; and its contrast with China’s real successes in improving flood control and disaster response. Guest speaker Dr. Scott Moore, author of China’s Next Act: How Sustainability and Technology is Reshaping China’s Rise and the World’s Future, probes the ecological and technological dimensions of China’s rise, and examines how we can make progress in tackling shared global challenges amidst the growing geopolitical rivalry between China and other major powers. Towards the end of the talk, Dr. Moore—along with various members of the audience—even engage with the provocative idea of geoengineering, or climate intervention, and discuss how receptive Chinese authorities may be toward a potentially necessary strategy to “avert or blunt the worst impacts of climate change.”
As you’ve seen an increase in extreme weather frequency and intensity in China, you’ve seen an increase in public attention…That is pretty well established. What’s not as established, but is more important, is what impact this might have, for example, on policy. So to what extent increasing attention, or increasing awareness of, extreme weather climate impacts might translate into some degree of opinion formation or pressure.
— Dr. Scott Moore