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Many Nations Pin Climate Hopes On China, India As Hopes For Trump Fade (reuters.com) 335

Twelve readers share a Reuters report: Many countries are pinning their hopes on China and India to lead efforts to slow climate change amid a growing sense of resignation that U.S. President Donald Trump will either withdraw from a global pact or stay and play a minimal role. Delegates at the May 8-18 negotiations in Bonn on a detailed "rule book" for the 2015 Paris Agreement, the first U.N. talks since Trump took office, say there is less foreboding than when Washington last broke with global climate efforts in 2001. Trump doubts global warming has a human cause and says he will decide on a campaign threat to "cancel" the Paris Agreement, the first to bind all nations to set goals to curb emissions, after a group of Seven summit in Italy on May 26-27. "The time when one big player could affect the whole game is past," said Ronald Jumeau, climate ambassador for the Seychelles. "There would be a void without the U.S., but China and India seem to be increasing their effort." Big emitters led by China, the European Union and India have reaffirmed their commitment to Paris, which seeks to phase out greenhouse gas emissions this century by shifting to clean energies. By contrast, Trump wants to favor U.S. coal.
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Many Nations Pin Climate Hopes On China, India As Hopes For Trump Fade

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  • by __aaclcg7560 ( 824291 ) on Wednesday May 17, 2017 @09:43AM (#54433913)
    Leading from behind.
    • by Dutch Gun ( 899105 ) on Wednesday May 17, 2017 @11:20AM (#54434705)

      Saying hopes for Trump on climate issues "fade" is implying they were ever there to begin with. Was anyone ever that uninformed to think that Trump was going to be some environmental crusader?

      If you want Trump to do anything about climate change, get behind nuclear to replace coal for base load power generation, which I'd imagine he'd support. A large number of environmentalists have, for many decades now, been hurting their own cause by blocking nuclear at every opportunity, allowing perfect to be the enemy of good.

      Of course, it won't happen, as some environmentalist would apparently rather see the apocalypse occur than build more nuke plants. Many of those people have even been going after *hydro* in recent years, which is about as clean as large-scale power generation is going to get. It weakens environmental arguments when practical solutions seem to be rejected out of hand.

    • He leads from behind so that it's easier for him to grab some ass.

  • One word: sadness (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 17, 2017 @09:48AM (#54433951)
    You know you have screwed things up when you have to look at China and India, two countries that have long been considered backwards when it comes to using renewable sources of energy, for a brighter tomorrow. Kudos to China and India to realize the problem and starting to get their act together. I mean, c'mon, look at India and the problems it has [youtube.com] and it is still doing something about it. So much about us being the superior.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      The bit about India actually starts a little earlier: https://youtu.be/bW_eGAwnfeI?t... [youtu.be]
    • by OzPeter ( 195038 ) on Wednesday May 17, 2017 @10:01AM (#54434037)

      You know you have screwed things up when you have to look at China and India, two countries that have long been considered backwards when it comes to using renewable sources of energy, for a brighter tomorrow.

      Given that the combined population of China and India is over 35% of the world's population it makes perfect sense to look to them for long term solutions. Making changes in those countries will have the greatest impact overall.

      • Don't look at it as population numbers alone, but as energy used and pollution produced per person. The U.S.A. is a problem.

        • by Nidi62 ( 1525137 ) on Wednesday May 17, 2017 @10:33AM (#54434309)

          Don't look at it as population numbers alone, but as energy used and pollution produced per person. The U.S.A. is a problem.

          But given the fact that China and India are still developing, when taken into account with the population they have China and India are the best places to start. It's much easier to focus on clean energy and pollution reduction while industries and economies are growing. Once the economy is established then there is considerable incentive for key players within the economy to maintain the status quo. For the ROI, both in terms of political capital/effort and straight up monetary terms, you will get more results from reforms in China and India than you will in the US. Especially given the current corporatist influence in American politics.

        • by OzPeter ( 195038 ) on Wednesday May 17, 2017 @10:36AM (#54434347)

          Don't look at it as population numbers alone, but as energy used and pollution produced per person. The U.S.A. is a problem.

          I agree that the US is an energy pig, but there are two counter points:

          1. The US is only 5% of the worlds population, so people in China and India only have to use 1/7 per capita energy of the US and already you are equally the total energy usage of the US.

          2. At some point the populations of China and India will start demanding a lifestyle equivalent to that enjoyed by people in the US. When that happens you start to get in deep shit.

          I have been saying for literally decades that the US has 5% of the worlds population but consumes 20% of the worlds energy and that when the other 95% of the world start demanding their 20% of energy, the the shit will really hit the fan.

          • Don't look at it as population numbers alone, but as energy used and pollution produced per person. The U.S.A. is a problem.

            I agree that the US is an energy pig, but there are two counter points:

            There's a hell of alot more counter points than that. Only 7% of our energy usage is residential: https://upload.wikimedia.org/w... [wikimedia.org]

            So per capita isn't even a great measure. We have a huge GDP with alot of industry, which equates to a great deal of energy usage. If you take GDP into account, the US ranks some

      • Re:One word: sadness (Score:5, Informative)

        by rhazz ( 2853871 ) on Wednesday May 17, 2017 @01:53PM (#54435961)

        Making changes in those countries will have the greatest impact overall.

        CO2 emissions per capita (2015):
        US: 16.1t
        China: 7.7t
        India: 1.9t

        The US has 4% of the population but produces 14% of the CO2. Seems to me that the US could make a pretty big impact if they stopped trying to find excuses not to.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo&world3,net> on Wednesday May 17, 2017 @10:21AM (#54434211) Homepage Journal

      China is doing pretty well compared to how the west did during its industrial revolution. Hindsight helps.

      Renewables are big business and the future of energy, and as the US turns away from them China sees an opportunity. Fortunately some parts of Europe are pushing ahead too, and of course Japan.

      • How do you compare to come up with "doing pretty well"? They have complete shit for air. And they have 1.3 billion people contributing to it. U.S. had a population of 5 - 10 million at the height of the industrial revolution. If China and India got down to United States levels of pollution the world would be exponentially better than any small dent changes to the United States pollution level could make. United States isn't turning away from renewable energy or cleaning up environmental impact, the
        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          Well compared to the west. Europe and the US had terrible air too, and for longer, and produced a lot more pollution and CO2 per person.

    • Why sadness?

      The U.S. long ago already met the coyote protocols. There are very little gains to be had at this point from the U.S. trashing the economy any further; ay real CO2 reduction gains can ONLY be had by looking at China and India.

    • Only Liberals would be so willfully blind as to look at a shithole like most of India and China and say "I WISH WE COULD BE MORE LIKE THEM"...simply because of politics.

  • America Last.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 17, 2017 @09:51AM (#54433973)

    I'm glad to see it. Trump is a regressive relic of an era of disinformation and anti-science, anti-problem-solving "I can do no wrong" ethos. That has to die.

    We live in a connected world. Protectionism is no protection in the long or short term. We have to address these issues as a global community, and that means making the economics of any solution apply universally as much as possible. Or it won't work.

    The US can pay carbon taxes all day long but unless China and India get a serious investment in non-burning energy sources, it's a wasted effort.

    So, India, China, other nations.... LEAD ON. Innovate, invest, and show the world that greedy old-coal financial interests aren't more important than the planet itself.

    • The US can pay carbon taxes all day long...

      Pay what carbon tax...?!?!

      We're not paying any type of tax, carbon or otherwise to any regulating body in the world....

  • by zoid.com ( 311775 ) on Wednesday May 17, 2017 @09:56AM (#54434005) Homepage Journal

    The amount of pollution is negligible compared to China. Have you been to China? They are in no way trying to fix this. The air is thick and metallic tasting. The only time they fix it is when they shut the factories down for the celebration of one of their communist holidays.

    • Also when people in western world stop buying Chinese craps. Please run through your household items and toss them away.
  • by Hartree ( 191324 ) on Wednesday May 17, 2017 @10:16AM (#54434181)

    "China and India to lead efforts to slow climate change "

    We've sure seen the results of China's forward looking environmental policies. Especially in scenic untouched places like Baotou, and in the pristine air of Beijing.

    So, good luck with that.

    • by djinn6 ( 1868030 )

      We've sure seen the results of China's forward looking environmental policies. Especially in scenic untouched places like Baotou, and in the pristine air of Beijing.

      On the other hand, because they've screwed up so badly, and because poor air quality affects everyone, including the highest members of the government, they're actually doing something about it. China is the biggest investor [forbes.com] in renewable power [wikipedia.org] and has a dozen nuclear power plants under construction [wikipedia.org]. They're not in a good place right now, but at least they're moving in the right direction. The same cannot be said of the US.

      • by Hartree ( 191324 )

        We already did clean up our act on many things. I remember the air in Gary Indiana in the early 70s. It was orange. And there was the lovely LA smog in 1974 or so when I visited there. I also remember the larger amount of litter on our highways in the 60s/early 70s.

        The problems were highly visible and you could smell them. We dealt with those to a large extent. Now, it's CO2, methane, etc. Invisible, don't smell, don't undergo photochemical reactions to make a haze. It's a much less visible problem. Are you

        • Ya got a point. I remember Newark, New Jersey, back in the day. Good God, you could smell it when you drove past. Bleetch!

          And Pittsburgh used to be a grimy stinkpot. I was there last month, though, and I was amazed-- really beautiful city, now that they've stopped the smog and peeled the accumulated grime away.

    • by Luthair ( 847766 )
      Its hard to see the point you're trying to make - the USA didn't bother doing anything until LA suffered serious smog problems and actively fights against it to this day. China at least has some excuses around cost, Americans (and other western countries like mine) have none. What should worry you is that countries like India are significantly hotter than the USA, what happens if the entire population gets air conditioning?
      • by Hartree ( 191324 )

        "Its hard to see the point you're trying to make"

        That applies to your response, too. Are you saying you're more concerned about assigning blame someplace you'd prefer it? Great. Blame me. That evil Hartree is the source of all our problems. Now, we've solved that issue. ;)

        Yes, widespread air conditioning would increase energy usage in in India. And? I'm hardly going to worry that some of the Indians might be more comfortable.
        Do you propose that we tell them that they somehow don't "deserve" air conditioning

    • by hey! ( 33014 ) on Wednesday May 17, 2017 @12:04PM (#54435035) Homepage Journal

      You know, I remember the 60s and early 70s in the US, before the Clean Air Act was amended to empower the federal government to regulate emissions.

      If you are under 50, you would not believe how bad things got. Look at pictures of Los Angeles [wikimedia.org], New York [wikimedia.org], or Chicago [wikimedia.org]. Hell, even Salt Lake City [wikimedia.org] was barely recognizable. It wasn't just big cities, either; small cities like Birmingham looked like this [al.com].

      When you look at an old movie or TV show from the late 60s early 70s and everything in the distance looks hazy, that's not the film. That's what cities actually looked like on a good day.

      I bring this up because the decision to to do something about air pollution was a sign of how healthy our democracy used to be. There was a problem that was costly and complex to tackle, but we did it. And as today there were people who profited by the status quo, that allowed them to externalize their waste management costs. The difference is that their hold on politicians was a lot less, and there was more independent media. Had we not done something about air pollution in 1970, we'd be where Beijing is now, and we'd be just as powerless to do anything about it today.

    • Every henhouse has a fox these days.
  • Wait 6 months (Score:2, Interesting)

    by sdinfoserv ( 1793266 )
    Trump won't last through the end of the year. Giving classified information to the Russians (aka treason), refusing to divest of conflict of interest business ventures, interfering with a Federal Investigation (also a felony)... and we're only 4 months in... The GOP loyalists are jumping faster than teabaggers. The drums of impeachment are thundering louder by the day. People are finally seeing the "Conservative GOP agenda", no health care for anyone but the rich, zero environmental protections, coal c
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Yeah, keep holding your breath, skippy. We've seen this kind of banter about every administration for my lifetime and it never really goes anywhere. The difference is that your soapbox is a little bigger but that doesn't make what you say any truer.

    • Are you still waiting on Obamas birth certificate or his mother to be fired from the White House payrolls or were you not alive for the last presidential inauguration?

  • This bothers me (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jediborg ( 4808835 ) on Wednesday May 17, 2017 @10:30AM (#54434285)
    Didn't we obtain, after only ten years, the largest hybrid electric car fleet in the world (okay, second to japan according to wikipedia) without any government interference? Isn't solar panel technology taking off in this country, especially as people have them installed on their roofs. Aren't the local state governments still offering subsidies so as to encourage the adoption of solar panel roofs? Aren't there hundreds more americans trying to 'do their part' by recycling more, eating local foods (which can reduce CO2 emissions since the produce doesn't have to be transported thousands of miles) and don't I see more wind farms popping up every single year?

    Who ever said we can only fix environmental problems by electing the 'right' president? We don't need the federal government to make a difference, we can (and I would argue are) collectively working to solve this problem through the free market mechanisms available to us!

    Now excuse me while i get in my honda with ridiculously good gas mileage, and drive to the local farmers market to buy organic local produce, while i drink my Soylent meal that took 90% less CO2 to produce than any conventional meal, and then go home to my apartment that is cooled by a sun roof and electricity supplied by wind power
    • It's not necessarily about electing the "right" president. It's about Trump paying favors to lobbyists who have a strong interest in creating larger barriers to people obtaining renewable energy and other "green" technologies.

      These assholes absolutely know fossil fuels have a guaranteed end of life where prices are going to inflate massively at some point when they start to become much more scarce. This results in massive profits to these people and their shareholders as they hold the fossil fuel depend
    • I live in the US and have a car with ridiculously good gas mileage, where I drive 60 miles every day. When I lived in another country, NOBODY did that (and personally, I walked about 10 minutes to work). In the US, that sort of commute is very common. Having a car that is 25% more efficient in a country with long-ass commutes and an addiction to freeways is a false economy.

      Solar power is cool for the future. So far, it isn't a significant factor. Not running your AC is more environmentally friendly tha

    • No, we didn't (Score:5, Insightful)

      by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Wednesday May 17, 2017 @01:40PM (#54435835)
      the government heavily interfered in the form of massive tax breaks for hybrids and for developing hybrids. Like most things that truly matter and are really difficult (like space travel, communication, and Basic Research) nothing happens until the government steps in because it's not profitable enough otherwise.

      And you can't fix the environment with a president who is openly hostile to the EPA. Poor people still can't drink the water in Flint, MI you know? And your Honda's good millage & clean emissions is dwarfed by the number of Trucks calling themselves SUVs on the road.
  • Making America irrelevant again!

  • What hopes? Who was stupid enough to hope that Trump would be good for climate change?
  • by rey2 ( 4925673 ) on Wednesday May 17, 2017 @11:09AM (#54434617)
    It's already out of hand when one country's government believes the only way to solve its problems is to depend on another country's government; it's totally bonkers to think China and India will be environmental leaders, have you ever been to either China? There wasn't a single place that we went where the locals drank tap water and the air is terrible, except in rain forest areas (the people and food were great, I'd go back to visit). The Paris accord has no teeth anyway so why should a country hamstring themselves- maybe, just maybe, each country can follow environmental policies that balance their own climate concerns and economic well being instead of blindly following activist theology.
  • Trump's administration is on a fast track down the drain. We'll likely see a new POTUS before year's end at this rate. For those who fear that Pence could end up as the POTUS to finish off the term, it is hard to see Trump passing on the chance to be so vindictive on his way out as to take him down as well.
  • by grasshoppa ( 657393 ) <`gro.oc-onpt' `ta' `ydenneks'> on Wednesday May 17, 2017 @11:17AM (#54434683) Homepage

    Look, I get it; Trump is horrible. He's a horrible person and an even worse president.

    However.

    Why SHOULD the US shoulder the responsibility, when we aren't even the worst polluter? In our rush to criticize Trump, we're giving the two worst polluters on the planet a free pass. If Trump pulling back on the accord prompts China and India to step up their game...isn't that a net benefit to the climate?

    Unhinged criticism is precisely how Trump got elected, and is likely to be why he gets re-elected.

    • Re:Trump Bashing (Score:5, Insightful)

      by nojayuk ( 567177 ) on Wednesday May 17, 2017 @01:04PM (#54435493)

      Why SHOULD the US shoulder the responsibility, when we aren't even the worst polluter?

      America burns about 3 tonnes of coal per capita each year (900 million tonnes last year for 320 million people). China burns a little over two tonnes of coal per capita each year (2.9 billion tonnes last year for 1.4 billion people). India burns about the same amount of coal as America does to supply 1.3 billion people, about half a tonne per capita.

      America IS the worst polluter of the three, and that doesn't even begin to take the oil and gas the US also burns into consideration. Americans use over twice as much energy per capita as the rest of the world and much of that energy is derived from fossil fuel.

  • Seriously? The Seychelles have less than 100,000 people. They should absolutely not have an "ambassador" on the international stage. That would be like some idiot from one of the bum-fuck suburbs around any city in the States randomly showing up and pretending that they mattered. This really irritates me. Not that I disagree with him, of course, but he and his islands are just not important enough to be quotable. Of course everyone deserves a voice, but it must be proportional.

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