In a recent address to the UN Assembly, both the United States and China made large climate pledges. And as the two largest economies in the world and largest emitters, the weight behind these announcements is huge.
The United States announced it would be increasing its contribution to global climate financing by $5.7 billion. This makes the total contribution over $11 billion, which will help developing nations use greener technology.
China announced that it will no longer build coal plants abroad and instead increase financial support for low-carbon technologies. This will have a massive impact due to China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
Despite this positive news, both still need to do more.
Chain Is Only Halting Coal Plant Production Abroad
While any halt in new coal plants is good news, it’s important to realize they are not referring to China itself.
Currently, China is the largest user of coal and it is not slowing down at all. In fact, it’s actually going to build three times as many new coal plants as the rest of the world combined this year.
It’s also worth highlighting that the current climate pledge from China calls for decarbonization by 2060.
That’s ten years behind every other nation in the world. While this is certainly a step in the right direction, more aggressive action needs to be taken domestically because the world can not wait any longer.
In fact, due to the sheer scope of its emissions, China is the most important nation when it comes to curbing the problem.
The US Still Isn’t Contributing That Much Financially
While the new financial commitment is great news for struggling countries, it’s important to remember that the United States is the richest country in the world.
For comparison’s sake, the European Union contributes €25 billion a year. Or 29.3 billion in USD. That’s nearly triple what the United States contributes. And when the previous administration pulled out of the deal, that number dropped to zero.
And it didn’t even meet the original goal it pledged when the organization began.
To properly fight this climate crisis, every nation must contribute an amount that reflects their position in the world, and the United States has a lot of room for improvement in this department.
Bigger Announcements At UN Climate Conference in Glasgow
While a lot of nations are beginning to share new pledges with the world in the days leading up to the next climate conference, many could be saving larger announcements for the event itself.
The latest climate report has indicated that it is almost impossible to meet the goal of the Paris Agreement. Nations around the world are not moving fast enough, and the pledges they are making are not enough to meet the goal.
And to make matters worse, most members of the UN are not even keeping the climate pledges they make.
For the climate conference to be a success, major announcements need to be made that speed up the process. More importantly, more pressure and consequences should be enforced on the nations that do not comply.
Especially when the nations create their own climate policy to follow.
Robert has been following and writing about environmental stories for years at GreenGeeks. He believes that highlighting environmentally friendly practices can help promote change in every household.