Guest essay by Eric Worrall
According to the New York Times, China has to step in as the global climate champion because President Trump.
Trump Is Unwilling to Tackle Climate Change. China Must Step Up.
China can do more. The planet depends on it.
By Daniel K. Gardner
Professor Gardner is the author of “Environmental Pollution in China: What Everyone Needs to Know.”
Dec. 10, 2018
With the Trump administration unwilling to confront climate change, the world needs a more deeply committed China. A recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned that if greenhouse gas emissions continue at the present rate, by 2040, coastlines will be inundated, droughts and floods will intensify and food shortages will be widespread. So the world is facing an immense challenge, made much more difficult by an American president who believes coal, oil and gas are the fuels that will drive America’s return to greatness.
Fortunately, there is no climate change denier movement in China. Political leaders and scientific experts there agree that the planet is warming, that the warming is owing to human activity, that China is responsible for much of it, and that the country is already experiencing its effects, including glacier retreat in the Qinghai-Tibet region and drought in the Hai, Yellow and Huai river areas.
For one, it [China] must stop financing and building coal-fired power plants around the world. China has made reducing coal production and consumption a high priority at home, but Chinese energy companies are behind more than 200 new coal-fired power plants around the world that are either planned or under construction. Fighting a “war on pollution” and calling for “building an ecological civilization” at home while promoting the use of dirty coal in less developed countries makes China look hypocritical, even colonial. Instead, Beijing can and should be exporting the renewable energy technology that it has been so aggressively developing. With this clean energy, underdeveloped countries could leapfrog the outworn development model that sacrifices environmental well-being for economic growth.
We live in a world in which global mistrust of China is widespread, and with ample reason: the military buildup in the South China Sea, the mass internment of Uighurs, human rights abuses, the disregard for intellectual property rights and more. But that mistrust shouldn’t blind us to the reality that in fighting climate change, the nations of the world are on the same side. We should cheer China on whenever it takes steps to reduce carbon emissions — especially as the Trump administration sits by idly.
Al Jazeera accuses China of holding a million Uighurs in brutal concentration camps.
War could break out at any moment in the South China Sea, thanks to China’s aggressive pursuit of absurd claims that they own the South China Sea.
The Chinese government has repeatedly demonstrated utter contempt for international norms, such as when they recently arrested the head of Interpol, possibly because he refused to issue international arrest warrants against Chinese dissidents.
But greens like Professor Gardner seem willing to overlook these provocations, abuses and crimes against humanity, if China provides a firm commitment to help reduce global CO2 emissions.