News and Views on Tibet

China’s climate policies aimed to “repair reputational damage”: TCHRD

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Image representational (Photo/The Guardian)

By Tenzin Lekhden

DHARAMSHALA, Oct. 17: Ahead of the Glasgow UN Climate Change Conference COP26 that is scheduled later this month, Dharamshala based Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) on Monday accused China, the world’s biggest maker and user of coal, cement and steel, of “Climate Change across the Tibetan Plateau that greatly impacts the Tibetan livelihoods,” despite the natives contributing very little emissions to cause Climate Change.

The rights group refuted China’s claims to mitigate their large emissions through huge watersheds on the Tibetan Plateau as national parks, which helps offset the emissions and “repair reputational damage.”

The report provides evidence that the ‘eco-compensation policy’ for offsetting China’s carbon footprint through Tibet’s ecosystem has not reflected any eco-compensation for the natives for their provisioning of the ecosystem services. Rather the Tibetan nomadic communities were dislocated and removed from their native lands. 

“The eco-compensation policy raises questions of human rights and sustainable development, and nature’s contribution to humanity, with global impacts and consequences,” the report stated. The Glasgow UN Climate Change Conference COP26 which begins on December 31, will be attended by World Leaders and parties to “together accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.”

TCHRD’s report highlights China’s callous execution of the policies by disregarding the native Tibetan’s human rights and points to its grand counterbalance policies that do little on the ground. Climate Change poses an existential risk to humanity, and tackling it is to save humanity, decades of scientific study has shown. China’s disregard of the natives’ rights and forceful removal from their traditional lands has no semblance of saving humanity, experts say. The policies thus seem to exist only to “repair reputational damage,” TCHRD said.

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