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China hijacking US climate change agenda, Heritage study claims

As the US squabbles internally over how one can deal with the long-term challenges posed by climate change, China is maneuvering to reap the rewards and exploit the environmental agenda, a new report from the Heritage Foundation claims.

“Proponents of the radical climate change agenda are largely not considering China’s harmful role in it. The more the United States pushes for green energies, the more it becomes reliant on China—our top adversary,” the authors of the study stated in a press release.

The report, titled “Chinese Handcuffs: How China Exploits America’s Climate Agenda” was written by Erin Walsh, a senior analysis fellow for worldwide affairs at Heritage’s Asian Studies Center; and Andrew Harding, a analysis assistant within the Asian Studies Center.

The authors surmised that China’s foray into inexperienced power is a bid to handle basic geopolitical and financial weaknesses with respect to its power sector and to strengthen its worldwide place total.

“America is an energy superpower, one of the world’s three largest energy producers. Comparatively, China is net energy vulnerable, the world’s largest energy importer,” they wrote.

“Over the past five years, however, the PRC [People’s Republic of China] has been executing a plan to reverse these roles by dominating the so-called green movement.”

Xi Jinping
China has publicly agreed to assist battle climate change. by way of REUTERS

Given severe long-term considerations in regards to the repercussions of climate change, the authors fret that left-leaning politicians could also be tempted to miss the nationwide safety threats posed by Beijing of their pursuit of a inexperienced power renaissance.

“For the political Left, the imperative to mitigate any effects of climate change necessitates both cheap and subsidized Chinese-manufactured infrastructure in the form of solar panels, wind turbines, grid storage, and electric vehicle (EV) batteries,” they wrote.

China now dominates 80% of the photo voltaic provide chain, together with producing round 95% of the photo voltaic panels being bought within the European Union. It additionally controls 40–50% of the worldwide provide of uncommon earth parts, that are important for the manufacturing of a variety of inexperienced power know-how.

The paper cited China’s decision in December 2023 to ban exports of know-how wanted to supply uncommon earth magnets for instance of Beijing’s leverage.

President Biden
President Biden has made countering climate change a high precedence. REUTERS

“The current worsening threat environment should mean that the US no longer relies on any foreign adversary, especially China, for critical energy resources or supply chains,” Walsh and Harding wrote.

The authors additionally pressured how Beijing is “flooding the market with below-market-cost products” to thrash international competitors from the US and elsewhere.

Further buoying that is “regulatory developments” rising within the US whilst compelled labor thrives in China. One instance cited is how Xinjiang, house to the Uyghurs and a plethora of human rights considerations, was chargeable for 54% of polysilicon manufacturing in China.

During 2023, clear power funding in China jumped 40% year-on-year, principally attributable to bets on analysis and improvement in addition to manufacturing, in accordance with the study.

Donald Trump
Donald Trump withdrew from the Paris Climate Accord after he took workplace. Getty Images

In public, Chinese management has talked a giant recreation on the subject of decreasing carbon emissions.

“Humankind can no longer afford to ignore the repeated warnings of nature and go down the beaten path of extracting resources without investing in conservation, pursuing development at the expense of protection, and exploiting resources without restoration,” Chinese chief Xi Jinping stated in an deal with to the United Nations in September, 2020.

In 2015, Beijing agreed to the Paris Climate Accord, which seeks a net-zero carbon output by 2050.

However, the authors have been skeptical of China’s sincerity in combating the disaster.

They highlighted remarks Xi gave in 2022 to the twentieth Party Congress by which he “stated that China will not stop using fossil fuels until it is confident that clean energy can reliably replace them.”

“The CCP’s climate policy is part of this overall agenda to hasten the rise of China and the decline of the United States. If America loses the ability to harness the natural resources it has, … [then it] seriously risks becoming dependent on China for energy while the CCP continues to abuse the environment,” they stated.

Solar panels
China dominates the photo voltaic panel trade globally. AFP by way of Getty Images

China, which is probably the most populous nation on this planet, by far emits probably the most CO2 — greater than double that of the US, according to the most recent data from the Emissions Database for Global Atmospheric Research.

The report’s authors known as for the US to considerably recalibrate its coverage towards combating climate change.

This contains prioritizing US power independence, pulling out of the Parris Climate Accord, investigating income streams from environmentalist teams within the US, ramping up scrutiny over Chinese corporations investing within the US, and turning into extra skeptical of Chinese cooperation on climate change.

“The U.S. is actively contributing to China’s dominance over the green energy domain while failing to exploit the challenges China has in this sector,” the study stated.

“[China’s] dominance is not inevitable—but the U.S. must act now to prevent it, and to free itself from its self-imposed Chinese handcuffs.”

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