The United States still lags behind China in global climate change leadership, even if America still remains in a better spot in terms of its greenhouse gas emissions, world leaders say.
China’s emissions are continuing to soar, which is a major issue, as the United States’ emissions are not accelerating in the same way, according to Tony Abbott, leader of the Opposition in the Australian House of Representatives (Australia is striving to decrease its own emissions by five percent by 2020 and says China’s growing emission levels is a problem indeed).
Still, America has a low of its own growing to do, he says, mentioning that leadership out of China is more likely than it is in the United States. This is particularly true during the 2012 U.S. presidential election season, where Republican presidential candidates actually are denying that climate change exists. This places the United States far back on the pedestal in the eyes of the rest of the world when it comes to who is able to lead the present and future’s green climate change efforts around the world.
Experts say China is far outpacing other more-developed countries by leading the world in renewable energy efforts.
“The Americans are in a period of dysfunctionality on this,” Abbott said of the United States. “The Chinese are very alert to it and are introducing an emissions trading scheme. It’s a trial and it’s got a very small price, but the Chinese do take it seriously.”
China’s success can be contributed to its commitment to reduce pollution from the electricity generating process by providing incentives to people who manufacture this resource. Australia continues to lag behind China as well, along with the United States, Korea and Japan. In fact, while China invested $35 billion in green energy in 2009 (mostly for shutting down coal-fired plants), the United States invested only $18 billion.
America’s stance in today’s international green technology leadership competition, particularly following this year’s presidential election, remains unknown. One thing, however, is known: Green technology must remain at the forefront of the next president’s agenda if the United States will be able to compete with the rest of the world in the renewables race.
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