Climate Agreement is Good PR for China; Bad Deal for America

WASHINGTON — President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping are expected to announce an agreement today by which China will create a cap-and-trade system to address climate change. While some are calling this a “landmark commitment,” in reality it is just more of the same: good PR for China, but a bad deal for the US.

In response to today’s announcement, IER President Thomas Pyle released the following statement:

“Once again, President Obama has allowed the Chinese government to run circles around him. This cap-and-trade commitment allows China to increase emissions for years into the future, while President Obama commits the U.S. to sharp reductions that will harm American families today. China will generate positive headlines while enjoying the economic benefits of generating electricity from coal, while U.S. families struggling in the Obama economy will get stuck with higher utility bills.

“Of course, even this weak deal depends on China actually keeping its word, which is highly questionable. We learned recently that Russian companies gamed the EU’s flawed cap-and-trade system so they could make money by increasing emissions. What makes President Obama think Chinese bureaucrats will be any less deceitful with a cap-and-trade system designed in Beijing?”

According to a recent IER analysis, the climate deal announced last year will allow China to continue increasing emissions until 2030, with no firm pledge to start reducing emissions after that, while the U.S. dramatically slashes emissions in the short-term. Here is an excerpt from the analysis:

President Obama is making deals with China which will allow them to use more coal to power their factories, make steel, and increase their economy. Under the deal, China is expected to emit 2.5 times as much carbon dioxide as the United States will be allowed to emit in 2030, when they say they may begin reducing emissions. Meanwhile, President Obama’s EPA, through his ‘Clean Power Plan’ will hurt Americans in the very near term with higher electricity prices and decreased reliability of their electric generating grid. All of this pain comes with no real temperature change.

Click here to read IER’s full analysis.


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