Proponents of globalism, including President Biden, are clinging to an outmoded climate policy with respect to China. By their leave, the land with the world’s largest population and the second-largest economy still enjoys privileges that come with the label of a “developing” nation. Refusal to recognize change is hardly the practice of the “progressive.” If Mr. Biden were genuine in his desire to protect the planet, he would demand that China meet carbon-emission restrictions to match its status as an industrial powerhouse. He is not.
The United Nations’ recent COP27 climate summit in Egypt concluded with an agreement among wealthy nations to pay reparations for alleged damage to the climate caused by their use of fossil fuels. Leaving aside the counterpoint that carbon-based energy has powered the most rapid quality-of-life improvements in human history, the deal unfairly favors China, to wit: Mr. Biden agreed to pay reparations up to $1 billion; Beijing pledged to donate nothing.
On one hand, the glaring disparity mirrors a contrast in 2021 per capita gross domestic product figures — $69,287 for the U.S., $12,556 for China, according to the World Bank. On the other hand, treating China as if it were on a par with such economic laggards as Libya, Afghanistan and Cuba is nonsense. With a population exceeding 1.4 billion, the Asian giant is “developing” world-beating capabilities, such as the planet’s largest active-duty army, the most lethal hypersonic missiles, the most intrusive surveillance technology, and, in all likelihood, the deadliest pathogens.
Moreover, China emits more than 29% of the world’s tonnage of carbon dioxide said to cause global warming — double that of the United States. Yet its “developing” nation status shields it from culpability. How “progressive” is that?
The anomaly is a vestige of policy crafted in U.N. climate summits of 1987 and 1992, when China was struggling to climb out of its agrarian-based economic past and join the industrialized world. In the intervening three decades, its economy has grown by a factor of 12, while its carbon emissions have more than quadrupled. All the while, the U.N. has doled out $1.5 billion to China from a development fund to which the U.S. contributed $1 billion.
As 2022 comes to a close, Beijing is busy building more than half of the world’s new coal-fired power plants in 20 nations, and it is allowing its own atmospheric emissions to climb until at least 2030. All the while, U.N. climate doomsayers sit on their hands — except to grab another billion dollars from U.S. taxpayers. And while overlooking China’s dirty industrialization, Mr. Biden keeps U.S. fossil fuels in the ground as he wheels and deals in oil with enemies. On Saturday, signed a deal allowing Chevron Corp. to expand its operations — in Venezuela.
Tiring of climate hypocrisy, the Senate in September voted 96-0 in favor of declaring the obvious fact that China no longer fits the description of a “developing” nation and mustn’t be treated as such by intergovernmental organizations.
The Senate resolution may be toothless, but it is more than Mr. Biden and his fellow globalists have done to hold China responsible for its share of climate change they profess to fear.