For U.S. and China, a new
route for climate progress
I read with interest the recent Associated Press news article on efforts by the U.S. and China to cooperate on climate solutions. As China is the top carbon polluter today and we are in second place, our shared efforts to address greenhouse gas emissions are significant and positive.
It is worth noting, however, that basing this effort on good intentions and promises of President-for-life Xi Jinping is not the best approach.
For many years, our two nations each have used the other's bad behavior on climate change as an excuse to do little or nothing to solve it. We need a new dynamic in which we compete to do good, rather than to do nothing. The best way to do this is for the United States to price our carbon with cash back to citizens, then follow up by enacting tariffs against nations that refuse to price their own carbon.
These two steps would re-establish American leadership on climate, would compel China to follow that leadership through sheer self-interest and would result in global reductions in carbon emissions far greater than what can be achieved by toothless promises. The path to climate survival runs through Congress, not international handshakes.