YCW in Conversation with Isabel Hilton: The Changing Geopolitics of Climate Change
with Isabel Hilton OBE, Senior Advisor at China Dialogue Trust
Tuesday, May 25, 2021
– 18:30 (London)
– 19:30 (Berlin & Brussels)
– 11:30 (New York; Washington DC)
Access via a virtual conference platform – details in an Eventbrite email shortly before the event
There is worrying potential for geopolitical tensions to hamper global collaboration on climate change.
The US, China and the EU together emitted half of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2018. Each region has domestic agendas as well as global ambitions that play a part in guiding how it builds policy and fosters international cooperation on the climate stage.
Young China Watchers are delighted to be joined by the renowned expert on China and the climate, and the founder of China Dialogue, Isabel Hilton to discuss the role that geopolitics plays in climate change.
Over the last 10 years, geopolitical relations between China, the US and Europe have been on shifting ground. Under the Obama administration, we saw groundbreaking climate collaboration between the US and China, epitomised by China’s first NDC climate plan and targets as part of the Paris Agreement. The US’s subsequent withdrawal from the Paris Agreement under the Trump administration thwarted the country’s global climate leadership status and opened the door for China to take the leading position. Meanwhile the ongoing US-China trade disputes have further frayed an already fragile relationship. Now with the Biden administration making global action on climate change a key agenda point through events such as the US-hosted global climate summit on Earth Day last month, we are seeing the US return to doubling down on climate change.
The global economic shock of covid-19 and the stalling of COP26 in Glasgow have also distracted from global action on climate change. Despite this, there is hope that the pushing of COP26 to November this year and Covid-19 economic stimulus packages could be opportunities for renewed commitments and strong action.
Irrespective of changing geopolitical tides, there is widespread recognition that current national targets are far removed for the commitments we need. Many questions remain on how the world’s biggest economies and emitters will increase the ambition of their climate pledges and actions at the same time as seeking to influence other global emitters. As a result, there is much left to be discussed and to be demonstrated if we are to believe that we can overcome the hurdles of geopolitical difference to find common ground and to meet global climate goals.
We look forward to seeing you at the discussion as Young China Watchers talks with Isabel Hilton about how changing geopolitics will affect the journey to address climate change.
MA, DLitt, FRSA, OBE
Isabel Hilton is a London based writer and broadcaster, and founder and senior advisor to the China Dialogue Trust. She is also currently a senior advisor to the China Council on Environment and Development; a member of the advisory board of the Association of Speakers of Chinese as Foreign Language.
Isabel has reported extensively from South and East Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, Europe and Africa, writing for a wide range of national and international media. In addition to her writing career, she has made several radio and television documentaries and has been a distinguished presenter for the BBC. Her written work has also appeared in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the New Statesman and the Economist.
Isabel was awarded an honorary DLitt from Bradford University for her contribution to international understanding and a doctorate of the university from Stirling University for her contribution to the arts and public affairs.
She was also appointed OBE in 2009 for her contribution to raising environmental awareness in China. Isabel graduated from the University of Edinburgh with an honours MA in Chinese, and in 1973 was one of the first British students to study in China. She holds postgraduate diplomas from the then Beijing Yuyan Xueyuan and Fudan University, Shanghai.