ZHANG MONAN Climate change is an issue that concerns the common interest of the international community, regardless of a country's development status. However, it's regrettably ironic that the West still approached climate change at the Copenhagen summit with the power politics of a cold war mindset. With the absoluteness of "global warming" being replaced by the conceptual ambiguity of "climate change", it has turned out that the forces pushing the world toward a climate problem are not generated from the catastrophic scenario of "global warming" drawn by scientists, but from the wrestling over a carbon-credit standard system and carbon-rights that lie behind it. The Copenhagen talks appeared to focus on promises of emission reduction by developed and developing countries. But it was actually about the distribution of development rights, leadership and emission reduction resources in the international community. Energy efficiency, the right to reduce carbon emissions, has become an asset for countries to fight for during the last 10 years. The Kyoto Protocol, together with the post-Kyoto system, can be regarded as an international agreement endowing carbon dioxide emission rights with a completely new currency issuing system. The basic framework of a "carbon-credit standard system" that boasts the comprehensive advantages of commodity and currency standards has been established. The carbon standard has gradually evolved into a kind of sovereignty productivity, operating global wealth and redefining international division of labour. As for the commodity standard, huge market scale has formed the supplying capacity of a carbon currency. Statistics from the World Bank indicate that the average growth rate of carbon trading between 2006 and 2008 exceeded 320 percent. The gross carbon trade in 2008 hit 4.8 billion tons, or $126 billion in all, more than 100 times that of 2004. It has been calculated that the annual global average trade of carbon dioxide is between 700 million and 1.3 billion tons, making a mega international carbon-trade market with an annual turnover between $14 billion and $65 billion, which is likely to become the largest commodity market in the world within five years. As far as a currency standard is concerned, binding carbon-credits with currency may probably settle the reconstruction of the international currency system. The combination of economic activity and energy trading proves an important factor in deciding the status of a country's currency, controlling the power of the most important energy in the world or whether the country has international pricing rights for the specific energy concerned. This has become the main motivator pushing a country's rise and promoting its currency to become an international currency. The history of international currency demonstrates that the growth of a certain country's currency into an international currency, or even a key currency, should always follow the routine from pricing settlement currency to reserve currency and finally anchor currency. All of the main players in carbon trading are striving to make their own currency the lead one in the energy market. Besides, developed countries are building the basic parts of a global carbon-trade market for carbon emission rights and carbon-trade currency. Through the penetration of financial capital, Western countries, in order to occupy the commanding heights in the future global carbon-trade market, are dedicated to establishing a carbon financial system chiefly supported by a set of financial facilities including direct investing and financing, bank loans, carbon index trading, carbon options and futures. It is almost impossible for the West to compromise with the developing world, for it is playing a lead role in the international arena by using power politics. Even if a global agreement is hammered out, it may be another unbalanced Bretton Woods System. Copenhagen is not a finishing point, but a starting line. All developing countries have to face dozens of challenges, among which is how to break the West-led carbon emission reduction system to give a push to the construction of a balanced global carbon emission reduction and carbon financial system. - China Daily