The trade war between the U.S. and China has be raging for more than a year, causing pain for importers and exporters alike as both sides put up tariffs. The trade war has been blamed for the strong U.S. dollar, the weak Chinese Yuan, and now for China failing to meets its greenhouse gas emission targets.
Li Gao, head of the climate change office at the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, was briefing reporters ahead of a United Nations climate summit in New York next month when he talked about the situation.
China is the world’s biggest producer of climate-warming greenhouse gases, and has pledged to bring its emissions to a peak by around 2030 as part of the global effort to curb rising temperatures.
But Gao claimed that by pressuring the coal-reliant Chinese economy, the U.S. could force the country to miss its emission targets.
Exactly how that happens isn’t clear, since China can freely maintain, close, or build new coal-fired electrical plants as it sees fit, with no interference from the U.S. If anything, a weaker Chinese economy should mean less electricity demand, which would give the Chinese government room to close such plants and move capacity to new, cleaner, gas-fired facilities.
Or, it could be the Chinese, like every other government, looking for a scapegoat when it fails to perform.