China, India to Reach Climate Goals Years Early, as U.S. Likely to Fall Far Short

Slowing coal use in China and India has put the world’s two most populous countries on track to beat their carbon emission goals under the Paris climate agreement, according to a new analysis.

Greenhouse gas emissions from both countries are growing more slowly than they predicted just a year ago, and the difference is substantial—roughly 2 to 3 billion tons annually by the year 2030.

That would be enough to more than offset the relatively poor performance expected from the United States as President Donald Trump rolls back controls and puts the U.S. on track to miss its Paris pledge.

The forecasts were issued by Climate Action Tracker, a consortium of three international research organizations, as negotiators from around the world met in Bonn, Germany, to carry out the global climate treaty’s work.

“Five years ago, the idea of either China or India stopping—or even slowing—coal use was considered an insurmountable hurdle, as coal-fired power plants were thought by many to be necessary to satisfy the energy demands of these countries,” said Bill Hare, CEO of Climate Analytics, one of the research consortium members. “Recent observations show they are now on the way toward overcoming this challenge.”

 

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