Commentary: Washington poses grave threat to world's green future

Source: Xinhua| 2020-11-13 11:18:17|Editor: huaxia
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BEIJING, Nov. 13 (Xinhua) -- No matter how hard some U.S. institutions and politicians slander China on environmental issues, they cannot whitewash the fact that the United States is the world's biggest threat to international environment protection cooperation.

To begin with, the United States has undermined global efforts to mitigate climate change. With its per capita carbon emission 3.3 times the global average registered in 2017, the United States is the largest cumulative greenhouse gas emitter in the world. It keeps on relaxing environmental restrictions on the development of the fossil fuel industries at home, and at the same time cripples the world's multilateral system by refusing to ratify the Kyoto Protocol and withdrawing from the Paris climate accord.

A new analysis, released in September by independent research firm Rhodium Group, has predicted that Washington's irresponsible climate policy rollbacks will lead to an additional 1.8 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions from the United States by 2035.

Moreover, the United States has failed to honor its international obligations on environmental protection. Since the ratification of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in 1992, the United States has been slow to fulfill its emission reduction obligations, and in 2017 it simply reneged on its commitments.

The United States holds 111 million U.S. dollars in contributions arrears to the Global Environment Fund, the largest share of contribution arrears in the fund's history. It also owes tens of millions of dollars in dues to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Washington's failure to fulfill its funding commitments has greatly weakened the viability of relevant mechanisms to provide funding to developing countries, and severely hampered global climate and environmental cooperation.

In addition, as the world's major exporter of solid waste and a large consumer of plastic in per capita terms, the United States has not ratified the Basel Convention, which has impeded the global management and control of plastic wastes.

It has long been taking developing countries as its dumping site of plastic waste. U.S. companies are still illegally exporting hazardous electronic waste to developing countries in 2020, according to a report released by the NGO Basel Action Network.

Despite its own notorious reputation, the United States has spared no effort to discredit other countries' environmental protection efforts. The so-called "Fact Sheet" released by the U.S. government is nothing but a list of lies.

Facts speak louder than words. China's contribution to global climate governance has been substantial. For example, China has attained its 2020 climate action targets two years ahead of schedule, contributed to a quarter of the increase in global green leaf area from 2000 to 2017, and currently owns more than half of the world's new energy vehicles. Besides, China has pledged to reach its peak carbon dioxide emissions by 2030, and strive to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060.

As Earth is the shared home planet of humanity, protecting its ecological environment requires global cooperation. The United States should stop its political manipulation and malicious slanders, and start to take up its due responsibilities in international environmental cooperation to help build a better and greener future for generations to come. Enditem