One of the Obama administration’s top scientists, Steven E. Koonin: The idea that we can stop climate change, Koonin argues, is delusional. “If we stop emitting CO2 today, it would still be there in the atmosphere for hundreds of years” he tells me. “If we manage to reduce emissions a little bit, it’ll just accumulate at a slower rate but it’ll still go up.” Even that is hard to do at an acceptable economic cost. During last year’s pandemic lockdowns, when much of the economy ground to a halt, our carbon emissions fell to about 21 percent below 2005 levels — which was less than halfway to the Biden’s administration’s 10-year goal.
Bloomberg News: China now accounts for more greenhouse gas emissions than all of the world’s developed nations combined, according to new research from Rhodium Group. China’s emissions of six heat-trapping gases, including carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide, rose to 14.09 billion tons of CO2 equivalent in 2019, edging out the total of Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development members by about 30 million tons, according to the New York-based climate research group. The massive scale of China’s emissions highlights the importance of President Xi Jinping’s drive to peak carbon emissions before 2030 and reach net-zero by 2060. China accounted for 27 per cent of global emissions. The U.S., the second biggest emitter, contributed 11 per cent while India for the first time surpassed the European Union with about 6.6 per cent of the global total.