China vs U.S on climate change policy going into 2018

Photo: AFP

 

Earlier this year, the White House announced it would be pulling out of the Paris climate agreement. The decision drew criticism from many countries, including China. Now, the U.S. finds itself isolated, the lone national voice of climate change deniers. As 2017 comes to a close, CGTN’s Sean Callebs takes a look at the impact.

Raging fires stretched in the far United States west. Among a number of killer hurricanes, Harvey dumped an unprecedented amount of rain on Houston, Texas, the fourth largest city in the U.S.

Historic weather events that experts said were exacerbated by climate change by global warming. How is the Trump Administration dealing with the global dilemma? “The United States will withdraw from the Paris climate accord,” declared the U.S. President Donald Trump.

China and the U.S. are two nations moving in different directions when it comes to the environment. “China will 100% surely honor its own commitments and implement the Paris agreement,” promised Xie Zhenhua, China’s Special Representative for Climate Change Affairs.

Chinese President Xi Jinping mentioned the environment 89 times during his recent speech at the 19th Communist Party Congress. “We should accelerate the reform of the environmental protection system and build a beautiful China. Man and nature are in the community of life. Mankind must respect nature, conform to nature, protect nature,” President Xi stated in a speech.

China’s growing middle class wants cleaner air and water. The country is the global leader in funding and developing alternative energy, especially solar power. China is also seriously cracking down on companies that violate environmental regulations. In the first ten months of this year, the country issued $154 million in fines; a 48 percent increase over 2016.

Meanwhile, the U.S. is mired in Trump administration’s promise to Make Coal King Again. It’s arguably looking backward and thumbing its nose at environmental rules and regulations. “The focus remained on whether Paris us at a disadvantage and it did,” claimed Scott Pruitt, the U.S.’ Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.

While serving as the state attorney for Oklahoma, he filed more than a dozen lawsuits against the EPA he now leads, chiefly at clean air and water standards. French President Emmanuel Macron vowed that France will be there to fill the void in climate research, funding 18 climate scientists programs, including 13 from the United States. “You are pursuing a continuum, the one that will allow us to win the battle against climate change. The one that will allow us to make our planet great again,” said the French president.

A not so-subtle jab at President Trump and his campaign slogan of “Make America Great Again.” As other nations draw a line in the sand, vowing to fight global warming, as far as the U.S. goes, 2018 could be characterized by more deregulation. And, when it comes to business or the environment, Trump has made it clear where he stands, despite a world of criticism.

 

 

CGTN

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