Tags: Barack Obama | Obama | china | energy | pact | costs

Analysts: China Energy Pact Has High Costs With Few Benefits

By    |   Wednesday, 12 November 2014 07:07 PM

While President Barack Obama and global warming believers have praised a secret agreement he brokered with China to limit carbon emissions, analysts say it is extremely unlikely that China will live up to its side of the deal.

Jillian Kay Melchior, a Thomas L. Rhodes fellow for the Franklin Center writing for the National Review, noted, "Though the announcement is politically expedient for both Barack Obama and Xi Jinping, China almost certainly won’t take significant steps to reduce carbon emissions.

"That’s because the legitimacy of the Chinese Communist party’s government rests squarely on economic development. Energy — often produced by dirty coal — allows that economic development to occur, lifting millions out of hand-to-mouth poverty."

The deal, which has been slammed by Republicans at home, allows China to "stop increasing" carbon emissions by 2030, which Melchior said, "is a slanted way of saying its emissions will continue to grow for another 16 years — and derive 20 percent of its energy from renewables by then, up from about 10 percent now."

Wang Yi, environmental specialist with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, told  The New York Times, "The biggest difficulty is that the demand will still be there. Urbanization won’t be completed, industrialization won’t be over and there will still be these large regional disparities. The eastern regions will be quite developed, but there will still be poverty in the center and west."

As for the advantage of the deal for Obama, Melchior said, "The deal, realistic or not, offers a valuable talking point for ramming through radical environmental policy."

That's where the pact runs into serious difficulty with Republicans. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., on tap to become the next Senate majority leader, said, "As I read the agreement, it requires the Chinese to do nothing at all for 16 years, while these carbon emission regulations are creating havoc in my state and in other states across the country," Reuters reported.

McConnell, from a coal-producing state, said in a statement, "Our economy can't take the president's ideological war on coal that will increase the squeeze on middle-class families and struggling miners," UPI reported.

"This unrealistic plan that the president would dump on his successor would ensure higher utility rates and far fewer jobs. Easing the burden already created by EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) regulations will continue to be a priority for me in the new Congress."

Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, said in a statement, "This announcement is yet another sign that the president intends to double down on his job-crushing policies no matter how devastating the impact for America's heartland and the country as a whole," UPI reported.

Melchior wrote that Obama's plan is to cut carbon emissions 30 percent from the 2005 levels by 2030, which the U.S. Chamber of Commerce says will cost $51 billion and $224,000 jobs but would cut global temperatures by "less than two-hundredths of a degree Fahrenheit.

"In reality, it's bad policy because, despite enormous economic cost, it would yield very few environmental benefits," Melchior wrote.

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While President Barack Obama and global warming believers have praised a secret agreement he brokered with China to limit carbon emissions, analysts say it is extremely unlikely that China will live up to its side of the deal.
Obama, china, energy, pact, costs
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2014-07-12
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 07:07 PM
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