Last week was a big one for climate change. The new Biden administration has committed to halving emissions of the United States—the world’s second-largest producer of greenhouse gases (GHG)—by the end of this decade.
The drastic announcement, coming after four whole years of climate denial under former president Donald Trump, has given the world fresh hope. More importantly, it has now put the onus on China and India to respond in kind.
China consumed half of the world’s coal in 2019, says the International Energy Agency (IEA). It is responsible for a quarter of the world’s GHG emissions. Naturally, it’s important for China to be on board for any climate treaty to yield results.
Though the Asian power’s president made tall claims at the White House climate summit last week about what his country intends to do, the fact remains that Beijing is yet to produce a national plan to cap its emissions within prescribed limits for this decade, a requirement under the Paris climate treaty.