China’s Great Leap Forward Fills Trump’s Climate Policy Vacuum
China is forecasting a fourth straight year of stable or declining carbon dioxide emissions, solidifying the country’s position as a global climate change leader as the new White House administration moves to slash U.S. climate programming.
The 2017 plan recently released by China’s National Energy Administration anticipates a 1% emissions cut, and shows a 1.3% reduction in coal consumption for 2016, according to analysis by Greenpeace East Asia.
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“The encouraging news reinforces China’s growing status as a global climate leader, and sends a strong signal to U.S. President Trump that his dirty energy agenda will send the American economy in the wrong direction as the rest of the world moves forward,” Greenpeace declared yesterday in a media release.
“China is ploughing money into renewables and reining in its addiction to coal. As Trump’s rhetoric leaves the world in doubt over what his plan is to tackle climate change, China is being thrust into a leadership role,” said Global Policy Advisor Li Shuo.
“These trends give some hope that the global peak in emissions might well be within reach, but only if all major emitters break free from fossil fuels and reduce emissions.”
“While the Trump administration proposes huge cuts to federal climate change programs and vows to ‘cancel Paris’, the majority of the people in the United States want action on climate change,” added Greenpeace USA Executive Director Annie Leonard.
“Trump would know this basic fact if he listened to anyone but the last fossil fuel executive he dined with at Mar-a-Lago, or if he listened to facts at all. The United States Congress has to listen to what the people want and stop our delusional president from sabotaging global progress on the most urgent issue facing the human species.”
In a post on EcoWatch, meanwhile, NRDC International Program Director Jake Schmidt identifies China as one of six countries that are leading the global boom in renewable energy adoption. “
At the end of 2016, India “had installed 11 gigawatts of solar and 29 gigawatts of wind capacity, moving significantly closer to its goals of 100 gigawatts of solar and 75 gigawatts of wind by 2022,” he notes. Latin America, meanwhile, “has recently proven itself to be a regional powerhouse in clean energy.” Chile and Mexico set record-low prices in recent renewable energy auctions, he writes, while Chile, Brazil, and Uruguay placed among the top five developing countries for clean energy.