Secretary of State John Kerry admitted that reducing carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S. and developed world will not help the environment or even slow down global warming at the United Nations Paris summit Wednesday.
“If all the industrial nations went down to zero [carbon dioxide] emissions, it wouldn’t be enough. Not when more than 65 percent of the world’s ‘carbon pollution’ comes from the developing world,” said Kerry in the video shown below.
Attempts by the U.S. and other developed countries to reduce carbon dioxide emissions are mathematically futile if China, India, and the rest of the developing world keep increasing emissions. The emissions gap is why the Obama administration has claimed the United States must “lead by example.”
China is, by far, the world’s largest emitter of carbon dioxide and has been since 2006, while India has long accounted for the largest share of global emissions growth. According to a 2014 study by the European Union, China emits 29 percent of the world’s carbon dioxide while the U.S. is only responsible for 15 percent of the world’s emissions (the European Union itself only accounts for 10 percent and India accounts for another 6 percent.)
CO2 emissions are declining rapidly in the United States, United Kingdom, France, and Germany, the nations most interested in negotiating a treaty. This is largely due to increased use of natural gas, not so called “green” energy.” Developed countries simply cannot cut enough emissions to account for the emissions growth of developing countries.
Under its proposed commitments, India can triple its CO2 emissions by 2030. Even with that, India has expressed disappointment in the draft text of the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Paris with their climate change minister saying he was “not at all happy” with the draft for reasons of “equity.”
India has made it clear that it will only begin reducing its emissions if it receives substantial assistance from Western countries, equivalent to $2.5 trillion over the next 15 years in direct aid, grants, and cheap financing.
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