Will China Lead on Climate Change Due to Trump?

The question for Trump may be who he wants to lead the world on climate change: the U.S., or China?

While it will take time — possibly the entire Trump presidency — to roll back many Obama’s climate achievements, make no mistake: It will become much harder for the world to meet its climate goals with Trump in the White House.

This fact could have ramifications lasting decades or more as the planet responds to increased greenhouse gases in the air.

However, there is reason to be optimistic: global energy trends are moving in favor of renewables over coal and other fossil fuels. The worldwide push toward solving global warming that occurred during Obama’s presidency has gained enough momentum that it is not going to stop even if the U.S. turns into a rogue state on this issue.

“A shift to a low carbon economy,” says Mark Watts, the executive director of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, “is too well-embedded in large parts of the world, particularly China, for it to be overturned.”

China, in fact, reiterated on Friday that with or without the U.S., it is firmly committed to continuing to reduce its emissions.

“Our policies and action will not be impacted by any action by the U.S. government,” Chen Zhihua, of China’s National Development and Reform Commission, said at the latest round of UN climate talks in Morocco on Monday.


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