China wants to stop climate change. With rich countries' money.

China is suddenly feeling really passionate about stopping global warming. Like get-fired-up-and-hold-a-high-level-international-climate-change-conference passionate. No, really. The conference, co-hosted by China and the UN, is slated for next week. Reps from countries all over—big and small, rich and poor—will be in attendance. That’s including reps from the US, that weird country that for some reason still hasn’t ratified Kyoto protocol. Isn’t this awesome?

Oh, one other thing. It’s no big deal, really. It’s actually such a small detail that it’s hardly worth mentioning, to be honest. Here it is, courtesy of Reuters:

“China wants rich countries to commit 1 percent of their economic worth to help poor nations fight global warming, and will press for a new international mechanism to spread ‘green’ technology worldwide.” 

Looks like China’s going to try to make rich countries start paying up (and sharing green technology) to help save the world. Here’s what Gao Guangsheng, a senior Chinese official for climate change policy, had to say about the current Kyoto agreement, slated to expire in 2012: 

"The present mechanism is unsuited to the needs of addressing climate change. Developed countries have not carried out their relevant commitments."

And about rich countries: 

"Developing countries should take action, but a prerequisite for this action is that developed countries provide funds and transfer technology."

Maybe in exchange for our money and our genius cleantech inventions, China will agree to a carbon cap and stop putting lead in our toys? A treehugger can dream.

-         Tobin Hack