A president might want to worry when China, the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gasses, slams his policies on climate change, and that’s exactly what president Trump woke up to today. Chinese State Media has blasted the president and called the his actions on climate change disappointing while warning the public that “Washington’s Political Selfishness should be discouraged.” This isn’t the first time the President has received backlash for his opinion that climate change is a hoax, but the Chinese, who he believes invented the hoax, are not so happy that he rolled back many Obama-era environmental regulations.
A Global Times op-ed makes it clear that the U.S., by being the sole superpower, is the only country with the capacity to stop global warming:
“The US produces a large amount of greenhouse gas emissions, but it also has the technological advantage to cut it. It is the sole superpower in the world, thus its attitude toward climate change will have a profound impact on how the world reacts to it.”
In other words, like even most superheroes know, with great powers comes great responsibility. The letter then goes on to explain that even though China is a large developing nation, they are not able to fill the shoes left by the U.S. if it decides to back out of more climate agreements:
“China will remain the world’s biggest developing country for a long time. How can it be expected to sacrifice its own development space for those developed Western powerhouses?”
And those will be pretty big shoes to fill if Trump follows through with his threat to back out of the Paris climate agreement, which China’s president Xi Jinping has called an important agreement that should be continued to be backed for the sake of future generations. On its end, China has committed to put a cap on its growing emissions by 2030.
Incidentally, Trump is set to meet with President Xi Jinping on April 7th.