So is The New York Times making the case for skipping the Paris climate accords?
A few weeks ago, many of us supported President Trump's decision to pull out of the Paris accords for a couple of reasons.
First, President Obama did not send the accord to the U.S. Senate for a treaty ratification, and second, what's the point of having an accord that requires nothing from China? Why do a manufacturing surrender and throw U.S. workers under the bus?
Well, the N.Y. Times' editorial is making President Trump's point about China. I'm not sure that this was their intention, but their attack on China should have come when this deal was being negotiated.
While President Trump rolls back environmental protections and announces the withdrawal of the United States from the Paris climate accord, China is trying to position itself as the world's climate leader, pledging to cooperate with other countries to build an "eco-civilization." China has established the largest solar panel farm in the world, plans to close over 100 coal-fired power plants, and is committed to spending at least $361 billion on renewable energy by 2020.
All of this is laudable and sorely needed.
But if China truly wants to be a climate leader it needs to address its global climate footprint, not just pollution within its borders.
China's lending in Latin American and Caribbean countries provides a telling example of how the country has outsourced its emissions.
The Chinese Development Bank and the China Export-Import Bank provided more than $141 billion in loan commitments to Latin America and the Caribbean from 2005 to 2016, far surpassing lending from multilateral banks to the region.
These loans have gone mainly to projects with significant environmental effects like oil drilling, coal mining, hydroelectric dam construction and road building. Over half of all public-sector lending from China to Latin America, some $17.2 billion in 2017, went to the fossil-fuel industry.
Thank you for making our case against the Paris accords. The editorial's last paragraph is great:
A true climate leader would invest in the preservation of areas of global ecological importance rather than destroy them.
Are you kidding me? China is not a climate leader any more than it is a democratic country. China was simply willing to pretend because politicians like President Obama were more interested in signing an accord than anything else. Like the Iran deal, President Obama was simply looking for a résumé entry so that he could go around and pretend he led the world to some kind of climate improvement.
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