chanting slogans without action is not enough
picture taken on september 12, 2022 showed the thick ice layer that has covered a swiss mountain between scex rouge glacier and tsanfleuron glacier since at least the roman era has melted away completely. (photo: vcg)
the u.s. senate has ratified a global climate treaty that would formally phase out the use of hydrofluorocarbons, or hfcs, which is the industrial chemicals commonly found in air conditioners and refrigerators.
the treaty, known as the kigali amendment to the 1987 montreal protocol, is expected to help u.s. industries remain the global leader in development, manufacturing, production, and deployment of hfc alternatives, according to u.s. office of the spokesperson.
in a vote prior to the u.s. senate's ratification of the kigali amendment, republican senators mike lee and dan sullivan introduced the amendment, declaring china is not a developing country and should not be treated by the un or other intergovernmental organizations as such.
the amendment would also require the secretary of state to propose the removal of china's designation as a developing nation.
the u.s. claims that treating china as a developing country under the treaty gives it an unfair advantage in the existing hfc market. furthermore, it allows china to continue production and undercut the hfc market well into the 2040s.
according to the washington post, sen. john barrasso also said that "this treaty is especially bad because it doubles down on the practice of treating china as a developing country."
like all other developing countries, under the treaty china gets a grace period before it must reduce hfcs, said the washington post.
but the u.s. itself has not done well. it has previously withdrawn from the paris agreement in 2017 and the kyoto protocol in 2001, which were both international agreements on climate change.
though biden administration has committed to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and develop a carbon-neutral power sector by 2035, an analysis of the u.s. 100 largest electric power producers showed in 2021, carbon dioxide emissions from the power sector were up seven percent.
according to a united states environmental protection agency's report fast facts: u.s. transportation sector ghg emissions, the transportation sector generates the largest share (27 percent) of greenhouse gas emissions. and more than 90 percent of the fuel used for transportation is petroleum based, being primarily gasoline and diesel.
on the other hand, according to the ministry of public security, the number of china's on-road new energy vehicles has reached 10.01 million by the end of june.
as the largest developing country, china is a country committed to real action on global climate governance and has resolutely followed a path of green and low-carbon development, foreign ministry spokesperson wang wenbin said at a regular press conference in august.
in this process, china has made tangible contributions to global climate governance and the fight against climate change, said wang.
official data showed in recent years that china has allocated about 1.1 billion rmb for south-south cooperation on climate change, donated energy conservation and new energy products and devices to almost 40 countries, helped relevant countries to launch meteorological satellites, and trained nearly 1,500 officials and technical personnel working in the climate response sector of 120 developing countries.
to tackle the global climate challenge, it is not enough to just chant slogans without taking action.
the u.s. should earnestly deliver on its historical responsibilities and due obligations on climate change and stop looking around for excuses for its inaction, wang stressed.