The United Nations has released its Emissions Gap Report 2020, which gauges a country’s contribution to greenhouse gas and carbon emissions. The data has put President Joe Biden in an awkward position as he re-enters the United States in the controversial Paris Climate Accords.
While the goals of the Accords are laudable, there’s just one problem. The new report shows that the U.S. doesn’t need to join because it has already met most of the reduction goals – hold on – under the Trump administration. Surprise! The U.S. has been reducing emissions for 10 years, escalating rapidly under Trump – even after he took the nation out of the Accords.
That’s a hard fact to swallow for some, who saw the former president as an enemy of the environment in which the country, and indeed the world, needed to be saved. The headlines reading “Trump=Climate Genocide” seem a little, well, alarmist now.
Reductions in gasses came even as the Trump administration expanded access to American-produced fossil fuel sources like clean-burning natural gas and encouraged clean coal plants. In fact, America is “the most successful major country at mitigating its own pollution, and the U.N. shows this,” as a news report stated in reviewing the U.N. data.
According to that U.N. data, “the United States of America emits 13 percent of global GHG emissions.” Comparing the U.S. to other nations, it states that, “China emits more than one-quarter of global GHG emissions.”
There are still problems for sure. The U.S. still contributes the most greenhouse gas emissions per capita in the world but that’s not the entire, or even most important story. The fact remains that the U.S is also the world’s largest economy ($21 trillion) and based on emissions per GDP, is one of the cleanest – and efficient of all industrialized nations.
Just how efficient? The American economy represents 24 percent of the entire world’s GDP while emitting just 13 percent of emissions. Even under the Trump administration, emissions per capita in the U.S. dropped dramatically while that of China, India and Russia rose precipitously.
Amazingly, or not, the United States continued this downward trend even after leaving the Paris Climate Accord.
That’s good for business and the environment. The National Economic Research Associates reported in 2017 that as many as 2.7 million jobs will be lost by 2025 by rejoining the Accords.
While the Biden administration pushes for “green new jobs” the fact remains that fossil fuels can be better used, with new technology that lessens their impact on the environment. And we don’t have to spend $100 trillion for the Green New Deal to do it.
What we have been doing is working and no thanks to those already in the Paris Climate Accords.
–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice