With U.S.-China Climate Deal, Congress is Out of Excuses
Top Republicans in the U.S. Congress are “freaking out” at the U.S.-China climate deal announced earlier this week, Climate Progress reports, with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker John Boehner, and a chorus of committee chairs labeling it an attack on U.S. coal interests and a free ride for China.
“But China’s commitment to peak its emissions by 2030—and possibly before—doesn’t mean that the country will sit idly by until then as emissions surge,” Valentine writes. “China’s willingness to be an international player in climate change efforts and its commitment to increase its non-fossil fuel energy sources to 20% by 2030 make the deal a significant step for the country,” as does the $56.3 billion China will invest in renewable energy projects this year.
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“Twenty percent does sound fairly robust,” said NRDC’s Jake Schmidt, in an interview with the New York Times. “You’re talking about 20% of a huge economy being based on non-carbon-dioxide emissions sources. That’s significant.”
On grist.org, Ben Adler listed four reasons Republicans are losing all perspective (check the story for Adler’s more apt description) over the bilateral deal: It means President Barack Obama won’t back down on climate initiatives in spite of the mid-term election results; it eliminates the excuse that America can’t act on climate because China won’t; it’s “another death knell for the coal industry;” and it leaves Republicans increasingly isolated and looking foolish on the world scene.
“The European Union has long been ahead of the U.S. in carbon regulation,” Adler writes. “With China now on board, other developing countries might follow suit. Of the 10 biggest world economies, Russia is now the most intransigent. Do Republicans want to align themselves with Vladimir Putin?”