According to Bloomberg’s Sangwon Yoon, the executive secretary of of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change believes it is.
In an interview conducted at Bloomberg’s New York office, Christiana Figueres praised China for its efforts to address global climate change:
Key policies, reforms and appointments are decided at plenums, or meeting of the governing Communist Party’s more than 200-strong Central Committee. The National People’s Congress, China’s unicameral legislature, largely enforces decisions made by the party and other executive organs.
The political divide in the U.S. Congress has slowed efforts to pass climate legislation and is “very detrimental” to the fight against global warming, she said.
This “political divide” reflects sharply divergent policy views held by American voters, a constraint that does not impede Chinese government decision-making. Governments that are representative of a divided people generally do not make radical decisions.
Inexplicably, Figueres appears confused about the difference between particulate matter air pollution and climate change:
[China] is facing growing public pressure from citizens to reduce air pollution, due in large part to burning coal. Its efforts to promote energy efficiency and renewable power stem from the realization that doing so will pay off in the long term, Figueres said.
“They actually want to breathe air that they don’t have to look at,” she said. “They’re not doing this because they want to save the planet. They’re doing it because it’s in their national interest.”
Figueres’ error may be explained by lack of scientific education and training; she has a master’s degree in anthropology. But her error is not unusual. For example, it is reminiscent of a Washington Post article about China and climate change that included, for illustrative purposes, a photo of Beijing covered by a thick particulate matter haze.