Originally posted June 6, 2017.
Below are three comparisons showing why the United States’ commitment to reduce “greenhouse gas” emissions by 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2025, which is only 8 years away, is such a bad deal for the U.S., writes Francis Menton in the Manhattan Contrarian.
- China—With 1.3 billion people and emissions already about double those of the U.S., the Chinese agree to no reductions whatsoever, and only to try to reach “peak” emissions by 2030 — by which time its emissions could be 50% or even 100% higher than today.
- India—With well over 1 billion people, more than half of whom don’t yet have electricity and somehow think they are entitled to get it—commits to nothing whatsoever.
- Africa—With about 1 billion people, very few of whom currently have electricity, commits to nothing whatsoever.
The Paris Agreement does not contain any commitment by China, India or Africa to help avoid a hypothetical degree or two of atmospheric warming.
Mr. Menton then asks, aren’t the Chinese, Indians, Africans entitled to electricity and transportation, heat and cooling just like we Westerners enjoy? And how do these billions of people get this energy cheaply and reliably? Fossil fuels, Mr. Menton points out.
Now can you guess which large national economy has been reporting sizable emissions declines? Yes, the United States, thanks to fracking. Furthermore, writes Holman W. Jenkins in the WSJ, the U.S. may soon also be able “to take credit for slowing China’s prodigious emissions growth thanks to natural gas exports to displace Chinese coal … under the unthinkable monster Donald Trump. Whatever evolution toward a lower-carbon energy system takes place in the future, it will also certainly be driven overwhelmingly by technology and markets, not policy.”