Monday, April 24, 2017

China, India Become Climate Leaders as West Falters

Click enlarged image to jump to your region: United States | Canada | EU | Australia | Russia | India | China | Amazon | Southeast Asia | Congo Basinn(Credit: Click to Enlarge.
Less than two years after world leaders signed off on a historic United Nations climate treaty in Paris in late 2015, and following three years of record-setting heat worldwide, climate policies are advancing in developing countries but stalling or regressing in richer ones.

In the Western hemisphere, where centuries of polluting fossil fuel use have created comfortable lifestyles, the fight against warming has faltered largely due to the rise of far-right political groups and nationalist movements.  As numerous rich countries have foundered, India and China have emerged as global leaders in tackling global warming.

Nowhere is backtracking more apparent than in the U.S., where President Trump is moving swiftly to dismantle environmental protections and reverse President Obama’s push for domestic and global solutions to global warming.

The U.S. isn’t alone in its regression.  European lawmakers are balking at far-reaching measures to tackle climate change.  Australian climate policy is in tatters.  International efforts to slow deforestation in tropical countries are failing.

While global emissions of heat-trapping pollution appear to be stabilizing, they have not shown any signs of decreasing, which would be necessary to slow climate change.  Rising temperatures are worsening floods, storms and wildfires around the world.

“Right now, when you sum the actions of all countries, even under the Paris agreement, it’s insufficient to mitigate dangerous, human-caused climate change,” said Matto Mildenberger, a political scientist at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

“Different countries move forward on climate issues with their own rhythm in response to domestic political factors,” Mildenberger said.  “It’s naive to think that pro-climate forces will be in power across the world at the same time.”

Here’s a trip around the world, assessing how pro-climate and anti-climate forces are faring in key nations and regions and showing how recent developments are affecting the languishing fight against global warming.

Read more at China, India Become Climate Leaders as West Falters

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