Lecture by Dr Sanna Kopra on her new book ‘China and Great Power Responsibility for Climate Change’ (Routledge 2018)

On 14 August 2018, Dr Sanna Kopra gave a public lecture on her recently published book, China and Great Power Responsibility for Climate Change (Routledge 2018) at the University of Helsinki, one of the Finnish China Law Center’s 10 member institutions.

Dr Kopra spoke at the Aleksanteri Institute (Unioninkatu 33) in the University of Helsinki, one of the world’s largest and best-known centres in the field of Russian and Eastern European studies.

The event was free, open to the public and registration was not necessary.

Cover of Dr Kopra’s new book, China and Great Power Responsibility for Climate Change (Routledge 2018). Picture credit: www.crcpress.com.

About the speaker

Dr Kopra is a specialist on China and environmental responsibility. Her publications include academic articles and popular science texts on China’s climate policy, Arctic governance, sustainable development and international environmental responsibility. Her professional positions include Postdoctoral Researcher in the Aleksanteri Institute and Member of Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science (HELSUS), both located in the University of Helsinki.


Dr Kopra speaking at another recent event about her book. Photo credit: Lena Gorbacheva, Aleksanteri Institute, University of Helsinki.

About the book

Based on a premise that great powers have unique responsibilities in international society, Dr Kopra’s book explores the way China’s rise to great power status transforms the notions of great power responsibility in general and in the context of international climate politics in particular. The book produces empirical knowledge on the Chinese party–state’s conceptions of state responsibility and the influence of those notions on China’s role in international climate politics.

Regarding theory, the book builds on and contributes to the English School of International Relations and argues that the international norm of climate responsibility is an emerging attribute of great power responsibility. The book also discusses the way China will act out its climate responsibility in the future and ponders broader implications of China’s evolving notions of great power responsibility for climate change. Thus, it seeks to shed new light on the transformations China’s rise will yield and the kind of great power China will prove to be.