Western environmental organizations are servants of China

By admin
9 Min Read

According to the latest report by Canadian economist Patricia Adams, Beijing has launched a successful cooperation with Western “green organizations,” using the so-called carrot and stick method. As a result, Chinese pressure groups are becoming the mouthpiece of President Xi Jinping without realizing the long-term consequences of their actions — both economic and ecological.
“They praise the scale of Chinese ambition on climate change while paying lip service to criticism of China’s massive coal expansion. Meanwhile, the greens turn a blind eye to the obvious: China does not honor its international agreements and has no intention of reducing fossil fuel consumption, quite the opposite. While the world has awakened to China’s abuses, Western environmentalists are silent,” says Adams. “China plays them like useful idiots.”
The report was released in early December 2020 under the auspices of the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), which claims to focus on questioning the “extremely harmful government action to combat human-induced global warming.” The organization was founded in November 2009 after the Climategate affair, when the manipulation of climatological data came to light based on leaked private emails from the world’s leading climate scientists. Today, however, the GWPF is characterized as a “lobby group” rather than an NGO, and some of its leaders are described as “climate change deniers.”
Patricia Adams is an economist and executive director of Probe International, a Canadian non-governmental organization that deals with economic aid to third world countries but also with the environmental movement in China. She is a world-renowned expert on environmental policy in China and also the editor of the English translation of the global bestseller Yangtze! Yangtze! , which is one of the major sources of inspiration for the current Chinese democratization movement. She is also the founder of the World Rainforest Movement and the International Rivers Network. She has spoken many times in front of congressional and parliamentary committees in Canada and the United States and is a frequent guest and contributor to world media, including the BBC, CBC, and The New York Times. Her report cannot, therefore, be a priori condemned as a pamphlet by lobbyists or global climate change deniers.
According to surveys by the Pew Research Center, world public opinion on China has changed dramatically in recent years. Today, only a minority of respondents on both the American and European continents agree with the once prevailing view that China is an uncontrollably growing but essentially harmless “giant.”
But there is one major exception — environmental organizations. Especially from the ranks of “Western environmentalists and their funders,” states Patricia Adams in the report.
“Rather than becoming cautious about China’s role in the world, these groups lavish it with praise for its environmental efforts, using superlatives such as ‘herculean‘ and ‘momentous’,” Adams points out.
On its website, Greenpeace states that “prioritizing sustainability will cement China’s legacy as it assumes a larger role on the global stage.” WWF declared that “the new aspiration announced by President Xi reflected China’s unswerving support and decisive steps to enhance climate ambition.” Meanwhile, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) — an influential, albeit little-known California NGO founded at the same time as Greenpeace — has even published a book entitled Will China Save the Planet? . The answer, according to NRDC, is a clear yes.
China reciprocates this “environmental gushing,” with state media controlled by the Chinese Communist Party, such as China Daily and Xinhua, dedicating full-page articles to celebrating the environmental movement’s partnership.
Some Western environmental organizations have a surprisingly privileged position in China. Following the adoption of a law in 2017 regulating the operation of foreign NGOs, the activities of most of them (including the renowned Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch) were either extremely restricted or effectively banned. Before 2017, there were about 7,000 foreign organizations, while now, there are exactly 553, of which more than half are trade associations, educational organizations, or other apolitical bodies. Less than 4 percent of them are organizations considered “environmental groups” by Western standards, and all do “Beijing´s bidding.”
Like all foreign organizations that are officially allowed to operate in China, the “green” ones must be formally sponsored by a designated state agency or government department. But in this case, it’s not just a matter of supplying the necessary funds for their operation but also of controlling and managing the organization’s activities and “close cooperation” on joint projects including, for example: regular joint meetings, tours of the organization’s premises, and submitting annual plans for projects and the use of funds for approval. Every foreign organization also has to agree to permanent supervision by the Chinese Ministry of Public Security. Any violation of the above requirements may result in the confiscation of property, detention of personnel, or prohibition of future activities of the organization for five years without any recourse to appeal. The reason for falling into violation could be, for example, any actions that threaten China’s national unity, security, and ethnic harmony.
One of the latest examples of this regulation is the case of former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig from the think tank International Crisis Group, who has been detained in China since 2018 in conditions that are considered inhumane by Western criteria. Later, the Chinese government acknowledged that the primary reason for his detention was a mistake.
The close cooperation between Western green organizations and the Communist Party of China is very understandable from one point of view. If the world is to deal effectively with the negative impact of fossil fuels on the global climate, it simply will not be possible without China, given its current 75 percent share of global CO2 emissions. In this regard, the hundreds of millions of dollars flowing into the projects of foreign environmental companies officially and legally operating in China, such as the Energy Foundation of China, must make the green activists happy because they are “saving the planet.”
On the other hand, it also undoubtedly makes the highest representative of China happy. They fill the state treasury with funding from foreign sponsors intended for “saving the global climate” while having absolute control over the use of the funds. Also, thanks to the rules of operation of foreign organizations in China, they have control over their “PR” in the world.
In essence, China says to organizations like Greenpeace: “Do you want to talk about human rights in our country or our territorial claims in Southeast Asia? Try to mention it somewhere, and you’re out. Instead, do your best — keep telling everyone that we are a world leader in ‘green technology.'”
For example, Li Shuo of Greenpeace’s Southeast Asia branch regularly praises President Xi’s statements on the commitments and implementation of the Paris Agreement. The reality is completely different, as China is not fulfilling its obligations at all, but we hear similar statements from the representatives of Western environmentalists to this day. To borrow a line attributed to V. I. Lenin, these environmentalists are the CCP’s “useful idiots.”
Title image: A girl shows a sign reading “make love, not CO2” as she attends a picnic as part of the Friday’s For Future movement in Berlin, Friday, April 19, 2019. (Paul Zinken/dpa via AP)

Share This Article