The United Nations released its Emissions Gap Report 2020, an annual assessment of contributions to greenhouse gas and carbon emissions. The report has some notable information amid an array of complicated projections that may or may not come true. It claims, for instance, that “despite a brief dip in carbon dioxide emissions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the world is still heading for a temperature rise.”
But for the United States, the real value in this report is as an advisory that it need not join the Paris Climate Accord. This report is evidence that, instead, the U.S. should just keep doing what it is doing to cut its own emissions. The U.S. is the most successful major country at mitigating its own pollution, and the U.N. shows this.
According to the report, “the United States of America emits 13 per cent of global GHG emissions.” Comparatively, “China emits more than one-quarter of global GHG emissions.” The U.S. still contributes the most greenhouse gas emissions per capita in the world, but, over the last decade, the country’s GHG emissions have been in decline (0.4 per cent per year).“ Greenhouse gas emissions per capita in the U.S. are dropping precipitously while those of China, India and Russia continue to rise. With the world’s most successful economy (over $21 trillion in 2019), it is not a surprise that the U.S. pollutes more per person, but the U.S. is making great strides in changing this.
And the U.S. is making these improvements while it refuses to participate in the Paris Climate Accord. In 2017, the White House said, that if it remained a part of that agreement, “compliance with the terms of the Paris Accord and the onerous energy restrictions it has placed on the United States could cost America as much as 2.7 million lost jobs by 2025 according to the National Economic Research Associates.” Instead, the U.S. continued decreasing its greenhouse gas emissions faster than any other major polluter, and it did so without the Paris agreement.
If the current plan is working to cut emissions, don’t mess with it.