China Abandons the Paris Climate Agreements; America Should Be so Lucky

Yao Dawei/Xinhua via AP

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has been doing some reshuffling lately, of both personnel and priorities. Now, in a move that should come as a surprise to no one, China has abandoned the Paris climate agreements.

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It was a bad week for anyone who thought China would cooperate on emissions reduction. President Xi Jinping reiterated that his country would set its own path on the issue and not be influenced by outside factors, according to the Washington Post and Bloomberg. This contradicts Xi’s 2015 Paris Agreement pledges to reduce its carbon emissions at the latest after 2030.

Xi’s remarks came while climate envoy and former secretary of state John Kerry was visiting Beijing to reopen a dialogue. This was shortly after Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived, and just before former secretary of state Henry Kissinger, the architect of opening China to the West 50 years ago, came for a visit.

I almost never say this, but this time, the Chinese are right. And it puts the Western nations, which still adhere to the Paris Agreement, in an awkward spot. Why? Because, if it’s carbon emissions you’re worried about, there can be no reduction without China (and India) on board. Here’s what Xi had to say:

“Based on China’s energy and resource endowments, we will advance initiatives to reach peak carbon emissions in a well-planned and phased way, in line with the principle of getting the new before discarding the old,” he announced in an address to the Communist Party Congress, as reported by Time.

Xi’s remarks should resound in the halls of the Environmental Protection Agency, which is planning to impose billions of dollars of costs on Americans to reduce U.S. emissions. China has repeatedly stated that it has no intention of going along with the Western push to net-zero.

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China is, far and away, the largest producer of CO2 emissions in the world. Nothing the United States, the nations of Europe, or anyone else can do will make any significant reduction in carbon emissions without China on board. That’s not to argue whether we need to worry about carbon emissions or not. I don’t think we do; I find the whole contention a bit silly. But this is a stated goal of the Biden Administration and all of the signers of the Paris Agreement, and China has just kicked them all in the teeth.

China is, however, doing something that the American government in Washington – at least, since 2021 – doesn’t seem interested in doing, and that is taking actions that will result in a better standard of living for the Chinese people.

A modern technological society needs plentiful, reliable, inexpensive energy. We cannot have a modern technological society without that. And “renewables” are increasingly being found unreliable at best. China understands that. Too many in Washington don’t. We can have plentiful, reliable and inexpensive energy with fossil fuels and – importantly – nuclear power.

Meanwhile, here in the supposedly-free United States, the EPA is floating a proposed regulation requiring 60% of new vehicle sales to be fully-electric by 2030. That’s seven years from now. Electrical vehicles (EVs) are not emissions-free, no matter how many times the proponents of EVs brag about that. The electricity they use has to come from somewhere, and that somewhere is probably a coal or natural-gas fired power plant. Our green policies are helping, though; they are, like the CCP, helping China.

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Donald Trump, to his credit, saw the damage the Paris Agreements could do to the American economy. He pulled us out of that agreement, and advocated policies that made the United States energy independent for the first time since 1957. Whether the next GOP President is Trump or someone else, that’s a pattern they should examine and follow. So is the abandonment of the economy-killing Paris Agreement. If President Xi Jinping can see that this is the right move for China, then any half-way conscious American President should be able to see that it’s the right move for the United States.

In China, President Xi did something right. Let’s hope we can get a President in 2024 who will do the same.

As of this writing, the Swedish Doom Pixie has been been unavailable for comment.

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