Will China fill the void created by the US’s retreat from climate action under the new Trump administration? Recent developments spur hope that China may eventually join the EU in the vanguard of international action to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. Coal consumption in China fell for the third straight year in 2016, contributing to a 1 percent drop in CO2 emissions despite significant economic growth. And although China is still heavily dependent on fossil fuels overall, it just broke its own world record for solar capacity installed in one year and is on track to hit its ambitious targets for 2020 by 2018. Moreover, China plans to invest $360 billion in renewable generation as part of the latest five-year plan, with two-thirds of that investment going to wind and solar. Such measures will not only ease the burden on the planet, but are also expected to create 13 million new jobs. However, even all this falls short of what is needed to stave off climate catastrophe. As the US recedes, China, the EU, and other leaders will have to step up their game.
Bodes well for the future