As many of its cities are covered in thick smog, China, the leading polluter on the planet, is lecturing the United States on climate change.
As the annual UN climate conference was set to begin on Monday in Spain, a top Chinese official blasted the U.S. for lacking the “political will” to fight global warming.
“The biggest problem in the current multilateral process to address climate change lies in the insufficient political will of developed countries to provide support to the process,” said Zhao Yingmin, China’s vice president of environment and ecology.
The U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA) has said U.S. emissions would drop by 2.2 percent in 2019. Other analyses have ranked the U.S. as number one in the world in reducing carbon emissions between 2005 and 2017.
Meanwhile, China is reportedly currently building more coal power plants than the rest of the world combined.
In an interview with The Washington Times, Climate Depot’s Marc Morano, who plans to attend the Madrid summit, accused China of leveraging the global-warming issue to hobble its international competition while boosting its own image.
“China is at it again, posing as a ‘climate’ concerned country while building seemingly endless new coal mines,” Morano said. “China’s false image as some kind of climate champion is aided and abetted by the media and climate activists. China is enjoying condemning the U.S. while also demanding a piece of the U.N. climate slush fund to developing nations.”
Yingmin, in a translation posted on China’s government information page, said “We hope that developed countries will provide sufficient, continuous and timely support to developing countries in a transparent and predictable manner, use public-funds and honor their commitment to provide developing countries with an annual climate fund of $100 billion up to the year 2020.”
Analysts believe Yingmin was including China when he referred to “developing countries.”
Yingmin referred to the non-binding pledge that accompanied the 2015 Paris Agreement for industrialized nations to pour $100 billion annually by 2020 into the Green Climate Fund to assist developing nations in mitigating and adapting to climate change.
The Obama administration put $1 billion into the fund, but President Donald Trump ruled out any further U.S. funding as part of his decision to pull out of the Paris climate agreement, calling it “a total disaster.”
The White House is sending a diplomatic corps — but no senior administration officials — to the Madrid conference in order to “ensure a level playing field that protects U.S. interests,” the State Department said in a statement.
Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Saturday she would lead a bicameral — but not bipartisan — delegation of 15 Democratic lawmakers to Madrid to elevate “the climate crisis to the forefront of the international conversation.”
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Sunday that “what is still lacking is political will” to combat rising temperatures.
“Political will to put a price on carbon,” Guterres said. “Political will to stop subsidies on fossil fuels. Political will to stop building coal power plants from 2020 onwards. Political will to shift taxation from income to carbon.”