Latest posts by H. Sterling Burnett (see all)
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Any way you cut it, other countries are hypocrites when it comes to criticizing President Donald Trump for pulling out of the Paris agreement, and calling America a carbon dioxide villain. I’m, like most Americans according to recent polls, am not overly concerned about climate change, but if I was results would speak louder than platitudes and words and by that measure, if one truly believes human carbon dioxide emissions are causing climate change it is Paris participants, not the U.S. that are the climate scoundrels.
BP’s recent analysis of countries carbon dioxide emissions show the while the U.S. leads the way in cutting emissions – sans participation in the Paris climate agreement – other countries, whose leaders have critiqued Trump for pulling America out of the agreement, while patting themselves and each other on the back for committing to tough emission reductions, are backsliding, meaning rather than reducing emissions they are increasing them.
Indeed, as Justin Haskins and I have noted in a recent Fox News op-ed:
According to a June report by BP – measuring global carbon dioxide emissions from the use of oil, gas and coal – the United States reduced its carbon dioxide emissions by 41.8 million tons from 2016 to 2017, marking the third consecutive year Americans’ carbon dioxide emissions fell. The United States’ carbon dioxide reduction is more than double the next closest nation included in the study, Ukraine. And the U.S. reductions are part of a larger, decade-long trend. From 2006 to 2016, BP reports the United States slashed its carbon dioxide emissions by about 12 percent.
[By Contrast] After world leaders from countries big and small also harshly criticized President Trump for choosing not to make Americans beholden to the United Nations, the leaders spent the rest of 2017 presiding over countries that emitted millions of tons of additional carbon dioxide – illustrating clearly the utter worthlessness of the Paris Accords.
China, for example, increased its carbon dioxide emissions by 119 million tons from 2016 to 2017 – more than any other country in the world – despite its alleged commitment to the Paris Accords. Spain added more than 18.7 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions. France’s carbon dioxide emissions increased by 5.5 million tons.
But it’s the Canadian government that might deserve the award for being the world’s biggest carbon dioxide hypocrite. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was critical of the Trump administration for its decision to leave the Paris Accords, saying in a statement that he was “deeply disappointed” by the “disheartening” decision. “Canada is unwavering in our commitment to fight climate change and support clean economic growth,” Trudeau said. So, after those bold words Canada cut its carbon dioxide emissions dramatically, right? Well, not exactly. In 2017 Canada emitted 17 million additional tons of carbon dioxide compared to its emissions in 2016.
It turns out China is a double climate and environment villain. It is not just increasing its carbon dioxide emission but is also increasing emissions of a much more powerful greenhouse gas CFC-11, which also violates an international treaty China signed onto to protect the ozone layer.
It seems Chinese companies are breaking international law, in particular the 1987 Montreal Protocol banning the production and continued use of chlorofluorocarbons (CFC)—a class of nontoxic, inflammable chemical compounds used as refrigerants and insulation and in aerosol sprays—to protect the ozone layer. A recent report by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) found 18 Chinese companies in 10 provinces are using CFC-11 to manufacture foam insulation used around the world.
EIA called China’s continued use of CFC-11 “an environmental crime on a massive scale,” with Alexander von Bismarck, EIA’s U.S. executive director, saying, “If China doesn’t stop this illegal production, it will imperil our slowly healing ozone layer.”
Von Bismarck also noted, “CFC-11 is also a super global warmer, making this a serious threat for our climate as well.” CFC-11 is between 3,800 and 4,750 times more powerful a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide on a molecule-by-molecule basis.
“What we’ve uncovered is a systemic problem, not isolated incidents,” said von Bismarck, indicating it is unlikely this could be happening on such a widespread scale without the government’s knowledge.