Major news organizations have reported that China will start a national cap-and-trade program in 2017 to limit greenhouse gas emissions.
The news was reported by the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and other news organizations. The China program is part of an agreement by China and the United States to address climate change.
The news came during the visit of China President Xi Jinping to Washington, D.C. for a visit with U.S. President Barack Obama. China is the world’s leading emitter of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide.
U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the U.S. Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, released a statement on the United States’ and China’s latest announcement on climate change. He didn’t sound impressed.
“If the president was serious about achieving a substantive climate agreement, he would spend more time working with Congress instead of developing press releases with the Chinese government. These public pledges sound good, but come with serious economic consequences for the United States,” Inhofe said.
U.S. environmental and renewable energy groups were more upbeat.
“The Obama administration will use regulatory overreach to claim our nation’s commitment, while China’s pledge has no guarantee of enforcement. This is a great deal for the Chinese who are slated to continue increasing emissions with the potential of capping them years from now. China stands to not only inherit a bounty of U.S. taxpayer dollars through various ‘climate change’ and ‘sustainability’ initiatives but also inherit U.S. manufacturing jobs and economic investment that the president’s carbon mandates will deliver straight to Beijing. In China, assurance of continued economic growth has and will continue to outweigh any nonbinding and untrustworthy global warming pledges,” Inhofe went on to say.
“The step announced by China today to move to a more market-based system like that in the U.S., where no resource enjoys priority dispatch and all resources compete on price, will reduce wind curtailment and benefit both consumers and the environment,” the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) said in a news release.
“In setting a start date for its national emissions trading system, China sends a powerful signal that market-based strategies will play a critical role in the transition to a low-carbon future,” said Center for Climate and Energy Solutions President Bob Perciasepe. “In the U.S., states have the opportunity to employ similar cost-effective approaches to cut emissions from power plants under the new Clean Power Plan.”
“Beyond their respective national efforts, the two leaders helped pave the way for a meaningful agreement in Paris by offering a shared vision for moving beyond the historic developed-developing country divide,” Perciasepe went on to say.