In the end it's always about the money. Even if the world needs to be saved, and everyone can always agree on that. However, when it comes to the question of who should pay for it, it becomes much more difficult. This was once again easy to see at the World Climate Summit.
Addressing the consequences of climate change is a rather expensive affair. Accordingly, there was a bitter struggle in Sharm al-Sheikh for financial aid intended to make it easier for poorer countries to cushion certain consequences of global warming (drought, floods, famine, the list is long). In the end, there was actually a new compensation fund that was immediately praised as "historic".
A group of 130 countries had campaigned for this fund, led by China. The People's Republic is among those who will receive funds from it. This is ironic given that China is the world's second largest economy. And their biggest coal consumer.
Despite this, the country insists on its status as a developing country vis-à-vis the world community. This is of course a very convenient position, because it does not require the cumbersome payment into various financial pots - but gives the People's Republic the status of a recipient of aid.
It's not that China is doing nothing to protect the environment. The country invests more money in renewable energies than any other country in the world. Nevertheless, demand has recently increased faster than regenerative energies can cover it. The country had to ration electricity for the first time in the fall – and once again significantly ramped up coal-fired power generation.
It is therefore difficult to understand why China is allowed to keep its status. In another area, the signs in the People's Republic are less likely to receive aid: in 2021 alone, the country invested a total of 293 billion dollars in expanding its military into a high-tech army.
In other words, the West must be careful not to cross-finance China's military ambitions. And he has to understand: We're not just saving the world with the 1.5-degree target. But also through the insight that getting there is a business like any other. You just have to do it that way.