Wiggle Room on Climate Change

China has reportedly given itself wiggle room on climate change ahead of the upcoming COP26 in Katowice, Poland. China’s Vice Foreign Minister said that Beijing will continue to increase its carbon emissions until 2030 and won’t be pressured into signing a treaty it doesn’t like.

It is unfair for developing countries like China and India to target our carbon emissions, Wang told a news conference in Beijing on Wednesday, according to the Reuters news agency. We will not accept any pressure. The Paris accord is very unfair for developing countries including China and India.

Wang also rejected calls by rich nations for more climate action from developing nations, saying the world must follow a just and fair approach.

China is not the only country that has issues with the Paris accord rules. Many countries, including the U.S., don’t like that it doesn’t punish poor nations for not acting on climate change until 2020, while rich nations are required to act immediately.

According to the World Meteorological Organization, China is currently leading all countries in carbon dioxide emissions. The U.S., Russia, European Union and India are also among the top emitters.

China has promised time and again to cut its greenhouse gas emissions but experts have said that it won’t be possible for the country to entirely shift from coal to natural gas and renewables in the short term.

In November, China’s state-owned energy giant Cnooc said it plans to continue investing in Canada’s oil sands even if the country implements a ban on new oilsands investment set out by a major climate group. The company recently signed a deal with Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. to jointly develop an oil sands site in northern Alberta.

China has been making a number of moves to help keep its economy going, despite the U.S. attempts at targeting it with tariffs on a wide range of goods and services including steel, aluminum and solar panels.

On Tuesday, Beijing’s National Development and Reform Commission , the country’s top planning body said that China will promote mixed ownership in its oil and natural gas sector.

China is also reportedly looking at the possibility of launching its own oil benchmark to reduce its exposure to U.S. measures against Iran, which are expected to hit China’s energy imports from Tehran.

Last week, Reuters reported that Beijing is already working on establishing a yuan-denominated crude oil futures contract that will enable the country’s trading partners to settle their contracts in Chinese currency.

A yuan-dominated oil futures contract could be part of China’s efforts to internationalize the yuan and lower the dominance of the U.S. dollar, something Beijing has been trying to achieve for years now.