by William Teach | November 12, 2014 8:02 am
Secretary Of State John Kerry is totally psyched over the so-called carbon reduction agreement between his boss and China. Because they totally want other people to be forced to reduce their carbon footprints. Not themselves, though. Obama has a carbon footprint somewhere around 41,000 metric tons, while the average American comes in around 19 metric tons. No one has estimated Kerry’s actual yearly footprint, but, considering he’s flying all over the world all the time, he’s probably in the hundreds, if not thousands. Anyway
China, America and Our Warming Planet
John Kerry: Our Historic Agreement With China on Climate Change
Has anyone showed Kerry this yet?
This is confirmed by HADCRUT.
The United States and China are the world’s two largest economies, two largest consumers of energy, and two largest emitters of greenhouse gases. Together we account for about 40 percent of the world’s emissions.
We need to solve this problem together because neither one of us can solve it alone. Even if the United States somehow eliminated all of our domestic greenhouse gas emissions, it still wouldn’t be enough to counteract the carbon pollution coming from China and the rest of the world. Likewise, even if China went down to zero emissions, it wouldn’t make enough of a difference if the United States and the rest of the world didn’t change direction.
Today, President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping are jointly announcing targets to reduce carbon emissions in the post-2020 period. By doing this – together, and well before the deadline established by the international community – we are encouraging other countries to put forward their own ambitious emissions reduction targets soon and to overcome traditional divisions so we can conclude a strong global climate agreement in 2015.
Ah, so after Obama is long gone. Of course, it’s not one of those real treaty thingies, because that would require Senate approval. Hence, it really has no force of law.
Our announcement can inject momentum into the global climate negotiations, which resume in less than three weeks in Lima, Peru, and culminate next year in Paris. The commitment of both presidents to take ambitious action in our own countries, and work closely to remove obstacles on the road to Paris, sends an important signal that we must get this agreement done, that we can get it done, and that we will get it done.
This is also a milestone in the United States-China relationship, the outcome of a concerted effort that began last year in Beijing, when State Councilor Yang Jiechi and I started the United States-China Climate Change Working Group. It was an effort inspired not just by our shared concern about the impact of climate change, but by our belief that the world’s largest economies, energy consumers and carbon emitters have a responsibility to lead.
Such pretty words! Will Obama start with his own footprint? The carbon footprint for him to travel with a large convoy to and from the golf course alone is rather big. And all those cross-country flights for campaign speeches, which we can bet do not stop despite the midterms being over and him not eligible for re-election, are pretty darn big, too.
But, what are the details of this super-historic, milestone agreement?
The targets themselves are also important. Ambitious action by our countries together is the foundation to build the low-carbon global economy needed to combat climate change. The United States intends to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions by 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025 – a target that is both ambitious and feasible. It roughly doubles the pace of carbon reductions in the period from 2020 to 2025 as compared to the period from 2005 to 2020. It puts us on a path to transform our economy, with emissions reductions on the order of 80 percent by 2050. It is grounded in an extensive analysis of the potential to reduce emissions in all sectors of our economy, with significant added benefits for health, clean air, and energy security.
The Chinese targets also represent a major advance. For the first time China is announcing a peak year for its carbon emissions – around 2030 – along with a commitment to try to reach the peak earlier.
So, essentially, China did not pledge anything but a nebulous thought to have a peak year in 2030, and maybe do it earlier. The steps they will take will mostly have to do with using alternative methods to coal and other actual pollutants in order to increase their air quality, which is pretty darned bad. That smog you see in pictures of China? That’s not carbon dioxide, or, as Warmists like to call it, “carbon pollution”. China has not had the safeguards for air quality that the United States has, so using more nuclear and other alternatives (meaning, they will be slapping up lots of nuclear plants, mostly), along with decreasing the factories, automobiles, and such which contribute to actual air pollution will make it appear as if they are Doing Something about their carbon footprint.
At the end of the day, though, this agreement has no force of law unless ratified by the US Senate. An Executive Agreement can be politically binding, but not legally binding. And, since this is an Executive Agreement, it cannot take precedence over domestic law. So, it’s a feel good agreement for lame-duck Obama and his Warmist base, with no actual hard targets for China.
Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.
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