To the editor:

I’m heartened that the United States has rejoined the Paris climate agreement. Many members of the GOP, however, oppose President Biden’s move. A common talking point is that China is the greatest current emitter and the largest consumer of coal.

A 2020 article in the Washington Examiner, “China coal additions are key source of emissions, and America is doing nothing about it,” offers a variety of strategies for influencing China’s climate policies.

One suggestion is for the U.S. to increase its funding of clean energy in the developing world, thus challenging China’s coal-intensive investments in those nations. Another is to create incentives that would lower the cost of carbon capture technology to make it more attractive to China.

Climate change mitigation is an urgent matter. In its 2020 report on managing climate risk, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission asserts: “A world wracked by frequent and devastating shocks from climate change cannot sustain the fundamental conditions supporting our financial system. Promoting the transition to a net-zero emissions economy and safeguarding financial stability are consistent, mutually reinforcing objectives.”

About half of the carbon dioxide we emit stays in the atmosphere for centuries or more. As a result, global temperature increases are a direct function of cumulative emissions. Notably, the United States is the greatest cumulative emitter, with twice the historical emissions of second place China.

And as the world’s most significant emitter, the U.S. bears a special responsibility to take action to address the climate crisis.

— Terry Hansen

Hales Corner

(1) comment

Jerald Davidson

"A 2020 article in the Washington Examiner, “China coal additions are key source of emissions, and America is doing nothing about it,” offers a variety of strategies for influencing China’s climate policies."

More demonization of China for the purpose of demonizing China and justifying an ever higher Pentagon budget. But the truth is, America is doing something about it and it doesn't help: we are increasing our coal exports to China. "China had the highest gain in coal imports from the U.S. among the top destinations in the fourth quarter of 2020. The Asian country imported 1.0 Mt (million tons) of coal from the U.S. during the period, a 251.8% increase year over year and a 748.2% jump quarter over quarter. https://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/chinas-us-coal-imports-jump-748-in-q420-amid- australian-trade-dispute/

And in the US, coal mining destroys the environment and the lives of the coal miners. But the heck with the carbon emissions and the miners - the important thing is corporate profits. So the Examiner blames China.

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