In the struggle against Climate Change, all roads lead to China


And John Kerry is answering the call:

A main purpose of Mr. Kerry’s travels to China and elsewhere has been to rally support for Mr. Biden’s virtual climate summit of dozens of world leaders next week. Mr. Xi has not yet accepted the invitation, but he will join a similar conference on Friday with President Emmanuel Macron of France and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany.

Cooperation between the United States, the worst emitter of greenhouse gases historically, and China, the worst in the world today, could spur greater efforts from other countries. China accounts for 28 percent of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions; the United States, in second place, emits 14 percent of the global total.

To call this issue "complicated" would be a laughable understatement. And thanks to that idiot man-child Trump, it's more complicated than it should be:

“The U.S. has neither the moral standing nor the real power to issue orders to China over climate issues,” the Global Times, a Chinese newspaper that often echoes official thinking in brashly nationalist tones, said in an article on Wednesday before Mr. Kerry’s visit.

It was a pointed reminder that China no longer sees the United States as so central to its international priorities.

There are other challenges, too, that could derail even basic coordination between the two countries, starting with the sharp deterioration of relations that began under President Donald J. Trump and shows no sign of improving.

The intensifying rivalry over technology could spill into climate policy, where innovation in energy, batteries, vehicles and carbon storage offer solutions for reducing emissions. Already, American lawmakers are demanding that the United States block Chinese products from being used in the infrastructure projects that Mr. Biden has proposed.

They're right about that "real power" thing. Trump launched a trade war not to leverage China into behaving more democratically, but because he thought it was a "smart" financial move. It wasn't. The tariff money that "filled our coffers" came from American importers, not Chinese exporters. And our exporters lost a huge amount of business when China retaliated.

Not only was it stunningly stupid, it also demonstrated that China can withstand whatever economic pressure we could possibly put on them. That's the danger of swinging your stick: when it bounces off doing little damage, it's no longer a threat that carries any weight.