As I have posted before the environmental situation in China is currently very bad. China burns 1/3 of the world's coal and a recent report estimated that 750,000 people per year die through the effects of pollution in China. China is already the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gas emissions - a leadership role that is likely to become more pronounced as demands for refrigeration, air conditioners and automobiles increase from low current levels.
But as this article in The Atlantic makes clear, the local situation is improving in some respects and China is serious about climate change. It is important in the west to acknowledge such improvements - and indeed to nurture them - if the right types of political signals are to be set in motion within China. The situation remains awful but is improving and the Chinese seem to want international approval and recognition for their efforts rather than ongoing condemnation.