Boycotting countries that fail to take required action on climate change

China has said that they won’t have reached peak emissions of Co2 until 2030 and will not change their target of being carbon neutral by 2060 ie too late. How do we respond to nations like China? Can we boycott China’s goods - can we buy elsewhere. Should there be high tariffs - with a trade war being unavoidable?
Should we just try to do without?

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China currently has over 1000 coal fired power stations with another 150 in the pipeline. Call me n’ai I’ve but this tells me they have very little interest in reducing emissions.

I think they do intend to reduce emissions but it’s not the top of their wish list. The west has exported it’s manufacturing and therefore it’s emissions to China.


I’m afraid that ship sailed long ago (pun definitely intended). The West is chronically addicted to Chinese goods, and most people will always want cheaper goods, regardless of the cost. Sad I know, but true.

Edit: In some cases as well, there are simply no alternatives, or the alternatives are prohibitively expensive. I have myself recently spent €1000 on items that originated in China. For me there was simply no other option.


There is obviously justice in the argument of developing countries that the most developed countries - like western Europe, especially the UK - have to do far more, because they grew rich precisely by over-exploiting the world’s resources and polluting the whole world; even now, a large part of the emissions etc produced in China and other countries originates in production for markets in developed countries: ie. we’ve simply exported some of our environmental impact to them.


Australia potentially as much as I loathe to say it, in a recent report they are the worst of ‘developed’ countries. SO embarrassing!

The pandemic taught 1 thing and that was, the interdependance of countries far exceeds the can go it alone theory. As for boycotting chinese goods, not a cat in hells chance its not the consumer its the rich western companies dictating the price.

I have decided to only look forward i.e. there is no point in recriminations about the past. We cannot change what has already happened, but we can change the direction of travel in the future.
In relation to this post we must all put our houses in order; that includes buying as locally as possible from suppliers who are making the best efforts to reduce their impact on the planet. Yes, buying cheap from distant manufacturers is tempting but unless we all say that enough is enough then manufacturing will continue to flee to less regulated places.
Our individual actions may seem like very small drops in a very large ocean but, ultimately, oceans are made up from drops of water.


As I understand it the UK is responsable for under 2% of total emissions so will wind farms and solar energy and the myriad of measures eco Boris is proposing make any dent in that ?

The short answer is “yes”, as it is to all measures that minimise our exploitation of the planet.

I’ll say this again…


Does that include the offsetting lie to say that a company is carbon neutral?


Badger and Geoff Cox are entirely correct, of course. The difficulty in ‘buying locally’ for example is that billions of £/$/€ of low value things are now only made in China, India and other countries that are developing but polluting while they’re at it.

Washing-up bowls, ironing boards, dust pans, brooms - just an endless list of low-value everyday household and industrial items are pouring out of factories ‘east of Suez’ and unloading at Rotterdam for European consumption. There are vanishingly few ‘local’ manufacturers of such goods. It can’t be made to pay.

And as for high tech - the Chinese are coming up fast on the rails. Hi-Sense, the electronics campany, has yet to establish a reputation as solid as Fujitsu, Mitsubishi, Samsung or LG but its TVs, for example, are now being recommended by the reviewers as worth buying whereas 12-18 months ago they were dismissed as simply not good enough.

The same goes for their air-con. You only buy air-con once every 20 years, ideally. I bought Mitsubishi. If I’d known I was going to move to FR 3 years later I would have saved 100s € and bought Hi-Sense. Five years from now, I would buy Hi-Sense.

I think it’s the case that those living today and the next 3 or 4 generations to follow exist/will exist in the period of transition to seriously reduce energy consumption/pollution/global warming - if there is to be one before, it’s too late!

I think we are simply pissing in the wind until China and the other main offenders get on board.

I hope I’m wrong.


Presumably when UK had its industrial revolution back in 1800s the emissions then would have been horrendous.

Is it now the time that other countries get to have their own industrial revolution with a similar consideration of the balance between “progress” and cost to the environment.


I really cannot understand, unless it is totally for reasons of non-availability elsewhere or cost, why anyone would want to buy Chinese.
We had acquaintances living in France, one of whom voted for Brexit, who went on holiday to Turkey twice, even after Erdogan was imprisoning intellectuals, University professors, teachers, journalists etc. She was a head teacher at a secondary school in UK and would have been a prime target for this dictator.
It is totally unfathomable to me, how anyone could do such a thing.


That is a valid point but it should not stop any of us doing our small (but cumulative) bits. There’s also no advantage in monstering those who have taken our (polluting) lead & then run with it. If our demands are for low/no carbon tech & spurn planet damaging stuff then business will respond, as it always has.

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Quite agree Jane but it’s a fair bet the majority of parts and components etc for all you big or small machines are from China.
ie : mower, food mixer, car, immersion heater, Dyson , fridge, iPad, tv, hair tongs et al.
Basically China has us by the short and curlies.


With thousands of everyday items there is now no choice. It may be a European brand but will be made in a developing country.

A friend who wnted to start a ‘filled hamper’ business in FR, because it seems no FR company does, had a meeting with a British company which supplies the hampers to the likes of Fortnum’s, Horrids, Wimbledon etc. The CEO goes on a buying trip once a year to order the next 12-months hampers - made in China.

How much of this sort of stuff do you think is made ‘locally’ ?

The Chinese make the ‘own label’ power tools that bricos all over the world sell under their own brand.

EG … Actually, MacAllister is an in-house brand of B & Q. These quality products are made in China and shipped as either semi-knocked down (SKD) or completely built units (CBU) to B & Q branches worldwide.

Note the ‘wordwide’. The FR branch of Screwfix sells the same Mac Allister range …

As for quality - the Chinese have some catching up to do. A Mac Allister hammer drill, in this case.


I bought a plastic fly swatter the other day, it cost €2 so not a cheapie, it has “Made in France” stamped on it. I reckon I doing my bit :slightly_smiling_face:

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