China just rejected US President-elect Donald Trump’s widely derided claim that global warming is a Chinese hoax created to harm the American manufacturing sector. Speaking at the UN climate summit in Marrakech, Morocco, China’s Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin said that his country couldn’t have invented climate change because previous Republican administrations actually put global warming solutions on the international agenda.
“If you look at the history of climate change negotiations, actually it was initiated by the IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] with the support of the Republicans during the Reagan and senior Bush administration during the late 1980s,” said Liu.
Trump has promised to withdraw the US from the Paris climate agreement, a move that China has criticized. Xie Zhenhua, China’s special representative for climate change, said that “a wise political leader should take policy stances that conform with global trends,” adding that “if they resist this trend, I don’t think they’ll win the support of their people, and their country’s economic and social progress will also be affected.” China and the US jointly agreed in September to ratify the Paris pact. While China is expected to live up to its climate pledge, the election of Trump, the only world leader to deny climate science, has generated uncertainty as to whether the US will meet its international obligations.
Unlike Trump and today’s GOP, Reagan and Bush senior accepted climate science and were committed to climate action. A series of confidential memos during the Reagan and Bush 41 administrations, demonstrate the extent of how serious they took global warming and how much they thought that the US needed to take a leadership role. A 1989 memo from George H.W. Bush’s acting assistant secretary Richard J. Smith to then-Secretary of State James A. Baker III called global warming “the most far reaching environmental issue of our time.” Smith continued, writing that “if the climate change within the range of current predictions actually occurs, the consequences for every nation and every aspect of human activity will be profound.”
Via The Guardian