The Paris Agreement’s Beijing Problem

A girl makes her way to her house located next to the cooling towers of coal-fired power plant in Shijiazhuang, Hebei Province, China, in 2015. (Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters)
China’s green-energy pledges and promises are cover for its ever-expanding global network of coal-fired power plants.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE O n November 4 — the day after the 2020 election — the United States will officially exit the Paris climate agreement, fulfilling the vow President Trump made in 2017 and finalized last year. If a new president replaces Trump in January, the Paris agreement’s advocates will urge that the country rejoin immediately. The international agreement, its advocates assert, gives humanity its best chance to limit global temperature rise to manageable levels. But their hopes rest on the dubious expectation that China will comply with the steep emissions reductions the agreement demands.

Though the Western world drove the hydrocarbon-fueled industrialization of the


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