The Biden administration and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) came together to issue a joint statement on the urgency of tackling climate change, according to an AP article dated April 18.
The move comes as Joe Biden is scheduled to host global leaders at a virtual summit centered on climate change. The statement was signed by China’s Special Envoy for Climate Change, Xie Zhenhua, and U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry. The two administrations made statements promising they would be “enhancing their respective actions and cooperating in multilateral processes, including the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement.”
Both Washington and Beijing agreed on three short-term actions to address the mainstream climate change narrative:
- Development of long-term strategies promising to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions/carbon neutrality by the time the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) is held at Glasgow in November;
- Boost international investment to support a transition away from traditional fossil fuel methods to methods coined as using “renewable,” “green” or “low-carbon” energy sources; and
- Cut down production and consumption of hydrofluorocarbon as reflected in the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol.
AP says that the CCP is the biggest carbon emitter in the world, just behind the United States, both accounting for almost half of the world’s fossil fuel emissions. Kerry pointed out that China is the biggest user of coal in the world, and said that he has “never shied away from expressing our views shared by many, many people that it is imperative to reduce coal, everywhere.”
Kerry also said that the two ruling parties have agreed on moving towards “critical elements.”’ However, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng, dismissed the possibility of committing to any new climate change pledges in the near future, arguing that given China’s population of 1.4 billion people, achieving climate goals in a short time frame is something that is not “very realistic.”
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The Trump administration had pulled the United States out of the Paris Climate agreement, arguing it was unfair to the American economy and workers as well as myopic in how it would attain its stated goals. However, Biden officially rejoined the agreement in a landslide of actions on his first day in office.
The United States along with a host of other nations are expected to announce their national targets for reducing carbon emissions at Biden’s virtual summit.
Kerry humiliated by the CCP
Meanwhile, Kerry was treated in a rather unprofessional way by the Communist regime during his recent trip to China, which many believe reflects the increasingly authoritarian and dismissive manner in which Beijing views Washington. After arriving in China, the Party did not send state officials to meet or accompany the U.S. climate ambassador. Kerry was transported in a bus rented from a travel company, something which many people pointed out was rather humiliating.
Prior to the visit, Re. Michael McCaul (R-TX), lead on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, had warned Kerry against visiting China.
“Ambassador Kerry is sending the absolute wrong signal by planning to travel to the People’s Republic of China to discuss climate issues,” McCaul said in a statement. “The PRC is the world’s largest carbon emitter and backer of coal power. Now reporting from Bloomberg is further revealing that forced labor and polluting industries are central to the PRC’s superficial green energy plans.”
“The United States should be working with countries that want to solve international problems, not those that are creating or worsening them,” he said, also cautioning Kerry against negotiating with the communist regime on climate change.
McCaul pointed out that there are “clear ties” between China’s use of forced labor of Uyghur Muslims and the polysilicon supply chains in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region. He asked the Commerce Department to blacklist state-run entities responsible and allow Customs and Border Protection to issue seizure orders for products imported from Xinjiang.
In a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, Kerry promised to hold China accountable for its climate pledges, but shied away from mentioning anything about forced labor. Some experts have expressed worries that by attempting to cooperate with China on climate change, the United States would cede grounds in other more critical areas like human rights, national security, and trade.
Green New Deal ‘An attempt to disguise socialism’
Democrats recently reintroduced their Green New Deal in the form of a Senate resolution which some GOP members have criticized to be a “socialist super-package.” First introduced back in 2019, the Green New Deal claims its goal is to eliminate America’s greenhouse gas emissions in just a decade through a transitioning away from traditional fossil fuel consumption while incorporating drastic climate change measures.
Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) lauded the Green New Deal as a “revolution,” claiming it will enable Americans to transform their economy and democracy by addressing climate change.
Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC), Environment Subcommittee Ranking Member, however, dismissed the Green New Deal as overt socialism.
“True to its name, the Green New Deal is the most amateurish resolution in recent memory,” he said in a statement. “This legislation would change every aspect of American life—what we eat, how we travel, how we stay warm, and even what jobs we can take. This is no way to govern.” Simply put—The Green New Deal is an attempt to disguise socialism in the name of environmental protections,”
It isn’t just Republicans opposing the Green New Deal. Even moderate Democrats are dismissive of the proposal. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), who had opposed the proposal in 2019, stated recently that the deal is not practical. He warned that the citizens cannot eliminate their way to a cleaner environment. Instead, you have to “innovate your way.