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The Foreign Policy Matters series is a new initiative by the Foreign Policy Institute (FPI) to highlight areas of challenge in the practice of foreign policy and place them in historical context. Each paper in the series is intended as a conversation starter highlighting a single issue of importance today. We will provide some basic knowledge, context, and thoughts in each paper. We will also highlight ongoing and recent work on the issues by scholars at FPI and the SAIS community....

Many saw Chinese President Xi Jinping’s decision to skip the upcoming “Climate Summit 2014” in New York as a blow to hopes that the UN-organized meeting would “galvanize and catalyze climate action.” China is the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitter.

Expectations for Xi’s participation had been high; in 2009, Hu Jintao, Xi’s predecessor, used a similar UN climate change summit in 2009 to unveil China’s goal to cut the country’s carbon intensity by 40-45% by 2020, compared with 2005.

Xi might not...

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The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS)
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