Economy, Regs, & Taxes

Obama's Green Plan With the Red Chinese

China announced details of its plan to limit greenhouse gas emissions.

Nate Jackson · Sep. 29, 2015
Smog in Beijing

In tandem with Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to the U.S., China announced details of its plan to limit greenhouse gas emissions. That’s all well and good considering China is the world’s largest emitter, accounting for nearly a third of all emissions. But does anyone trust that China’s plan will actually slow “global warming”? Or that China will even abide by its promises? But never mind that. The important thing is the agreement gives Barack Obama a feather in his cap going into the climate summit in Paris this December.

Indeed, Obama’s climate agenda is paramount, and it is what Mark Alexander called an “end run on Liberty.” And what better partner than Red China? Besides, he’s got to hammer out the details of last November’s agreement that Obama unilaterally made in the wake of his staggering midterm election defeat. Getting China on board is critical, not just to show “leadership” at the Paris climate summit, but to (Obama thinks) pull the rug out from under opponents of his agenda.

Carol Browner, former climate adviser to Obama and Environmental Protection Agency chief under Bill Clinton, said, “[W]ith China’s commitment, opponents of climate action here in the U.S. are running out of excuses, unfortunately not as quickly as the earth is running out of time.”

Obama needs to show the world that its two largest economies are willing to handcuff themselves to allegedly save the planet. As he said at Friday’s joint press conference, “When the world’s two biggest economies, energy consumers and carbon emitters come together like this, then there’s no reason for other countries, either developed or developing, to not do so as well.”

The White House boasted in a “fact sheet”: “China confirmed [Friday] that it plans to launch in 2017 a national emission trading system covering power generation, steel, cement, and other key industrial sectors, as well as implement a ‘green dispatch’ system to favor low-carbon sources in the electric grid. These announcements complement the recent finalization of the U.S. Clean Power Plan, which will reduce emissions in the U.S. power sector by 32% by 2030.”

Translation: China will implement cap and trade, the policy Obama failed to push through Congress because it’s so economically damaging. And as Investor’s Business Daily observes, “Cap-and-trade has failed everywhere it’s been tried.”

A Washington Post headline astutely observes, “With cap and trade plan, China adopts emissions policy that couldn’t get through U.S. Congress.” No kidding. That’s because China is a one-party Communist dictatorship. It seems the Post shares Obama’s disdain for the constitutional separation of powers.

It matters little in terms of accountability to China’s central planners if its economy suffers from this emissions scheme. The American stock market has suffered volatility in recent weeks on fears of a slowdown in China. Clearly, China’s economy isn’t too hot. Neither is ours. Yet leaders of both countries are willing to enact economically crushing regulations anyway “for the greater good.” Brilliant.

As for the effect this agreement will have on global temperatures, even proponents admit its likely to be negligible. According to The New York Times, “An analysis by researchers at Climate Interactive … shows that the [world’s] collective pledges would reduce the warming of the planet at century’s end to about 6.3 degrees, if the national commitments are fully honored, from an expected 8.1 degrees Fahrenheit, if emissions continue on their present course.”

First, those temperature claims are fantastical — much of the hype over rising temperatures is based on falsified climate data. Second, the supposed temperature reduction achieved isn’t anywhere near what climate alarmists say we need. But the idea that we’re going to cripple the world economy, hitting the poor hardest, to barely make a dent in such a supposedly inevitable temperature increase is practically maniacal.

On a final note, 2015 is the Chinese Year of the Goat, which is apparently the role Xi has in mind for Obama.

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