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China and India climate change actions more than offset US Paris Agreement retreat

Recent aggressive actions by China and India to combat climate change will more than offset new American policies that increase CO2 emissions by denying the human effects on earth’s changing climate.

Recent news shows that China is already pulling the world forward with extensive solar power installations, while India – the soon to be world’s most populous country – sits at the edge of its own clean energy revolution.

Speaking partially positively, three independent European research groups have released a new report that states emissions policies and actions at a national level, heavily influenced by China and India, have visibly reduced end of century temperature estimates. The newest projections suggest the world is headed for a warming of 3.4°C (6.1° F) by 2100, down from 3.6°C (6.5°F) predicted a year ago, as per the The Climate Action Tracker (CAT) report.

Concurrently, by dropping out of the Paris Agreement, the USA has lowered the overall effect that the Paris Agreement could have had by about .32°C. Of course, the USA is driven by Trump’s general denial of human induced Climate Change. Trump’s evolving views on the topic include the below proclamation:

This is the first time the group has noted a lowering of temperature estimations for the year 2100 since it began studying the challenge in 2009. The group tracks temperature estimations associated with both pledges and real policy. Right now, what countries have pledged to do versus what their currently enacted policies can probably drive are separated by 0.24°C.

Part of the Paris Agreements structure is that countries would revisit the pledges continually, and better them as they learned and advanced. Current pledges would see temperatures increase 3.16°C – not the 2°C we hope for.

Electrek’s Take

With China and India having 2.6 billion people of the planet’s 7.3 billion – 35% of the world – whatever they do will drive what happens to all of us. China is the world’s leading CO2 emitter and India is third. The US is second though, and while it emits half of what China does, it does represent ~15% of global emissions.

One of the original complaints about the Paris Agreement from some Americans was that other groups weren’t required to do much until 2030 (which really isn’t true), while the US would contribute the most up front. Much earlier than originally pledged by China, we’re now seeing large enough clean energy deployments – vehicles and energy generation, that the US now trails those who weren’t required to do as much.

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