Some proclaimed U.S. energy experts have come out against a new pact made by Biden and China’s President Xi to move away from fossil fuels in favor of green substitutes. The countries have pledged to speed up the process of replacing coal, oil, and gas with green energy, such as wind and solar power, in order to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
The US-China Pact
Alongside phasing out fossil fuels and increasing the use of renewables, the nations have also agreed to “deepen policy exchanges” on reducing carbon emissions in other sectors like transport, buildings, and industry.
Experts Weigh In
The deal has been the subject of criticism by many experts, who insist that it will have a negative impact on the U.S. economy and U.S. consumers, with the proposals “basically guaranteeing China decades of wealth, guaranteeing America is going to buy their products,” according to Daniel Turner, founder and executive director of Power the Future.
Turner claimed that the majority of renewables are “made in China” and therefore China stands to benefit the most. “Of course, China would love this agreement,” Turner added.
Lack of Trust
Experts have also expressed concern over whether China will hold up its end of the deal, alleging that the superpower does not usually keep to its word on international accords. Turner declared, “Their obligations — they’ll just ignore that. They’ve ignored every other obligation.”
Competitive Enterprise Institute senior fellow Marlo Lewis had a similar pessimistic take on the agreement. “The effect on climate change, if any, will be negative, as the ‘cooperation’ will nudge the United States closer to Beijing-style central planning, production quotas, and groupthink,” he speculated.
Lewis also proposed that the policy would “create make-work for bureaucrats, subsidies for rent-seekers, photo ops for local politicians, and new opportunities for Chinese agents of influence and industrial spies.”
A Mounting Concern
The overall gist of the backlash was that people who value the United States’ economic interests over the potential consequences of climate change should certainly be concerned by this deal, as the U.S. is the largest global producer of oil and gas and it is still the primary source of energy in the country.
Climate Change Denialism
Much of what was being said appeared to be rooted in climate change denialism, with Will Hild, the executive director of Consumers’ Research, insisting that: “Clearly climate alarmism remains a higher priority to President Biden than ensuring American consumers have access to affordable energy and consumer goods,” while also calling the new proposals “ideologically-driven.”
Chinese Supply Chains
Steve Milloy, a senior legal fellow at the Energy & Environment Legal Institute, was adamant that the agreement was a ploy from China to “keep the America-hurting climate hoax going,” and that China was not bound to any emission reductions in the agreement.
The Paris Accord
Meanwhile, the CEO and founder of The American Energy Institute, Jason Isaac, protested that no country, including China, complies with the 2015 Paris Agreement, which he swore “is based on the false premise that CO2, a trace gas that makes up 0.04% of the atmosphere, is causing catastrophic warming.”
“China First, America Last”
He concluded that “the current administration is making new, reliable electric generation construction nearly impossible. Biden’s bailout of China has turned our foreign policy to ‘China first, America last.’”
People online, however, were generally a lot more optimistic about the proposals and the chance for less hostile relations between China and the U.S. One forum commenter wrote: “This is good news — a mutual agreement to not race to the bottom together.”
Credit Where It’s Due
Others reluctantly praised China for its commitment to reducing carbon emissions. One person said: “You’d be surprised just how much China or, well, some areas of China, have cleaned up by switching to renewables. I’m not a fan of the Chinese government but I have to give them props for making strides on this issue.”
They went on to suggest China start making “higher quality products that last longer and don’t need to be replaced so often, creating waste that is being distributed all around the globe.” Someone else contested that China does make some quality products, but that “Most people don’t want to pay for quality, people want cheap prices.”
The 2024 Election
Others feared that former president Donald Trump could halt this progress if he is successful in his reelection campaign next year. “This will go to s—- if ‘you know who’ wins the next election,” one person posted.
“Believe it when I see,” one suspicious user stated, adding that the “world hasn’t changed its fossil fuel usage by much and we’re pretty much out of time to avoid dramatic climate changes.” Someone else countered, “I agree we are not doing enough but what you said simply is not true,” before going on to prove what progress has been made and criticize doomerist attitudes.
A Global Responsibility
Overall, the forum users hoped that this would be a step in the right direction. “China and the US agreeing is the only way to solve the climate issue. Anything else doesn’t matter,” one contributor explained. “These two have the responsibility for humanity and the earth. Hope they can do the right things.”