Vastavam web: China has a chance to assert leadership of a global plan to combat global warming this week at the first U.N. climate talks since U.S. President Donald Trump decided to quit the 195-nation Paris Agreement, delegates say.Trump once dismissed climate change as a Chinese hoax to harm the U.S. economy and said in June that he would pull out of the agreement and instead promote U.S. coal and oil. A formal U.S. withdrawal will take until 2020.
No other nation has followed his lead. U.S. influence is likely to wane compared to other big greenhouse emitters led by China, the European Union and India even though Washington will still have a place at the table in Bonn.China, on track to beat its goal of a peak in carbon emissions in 2030, seems best placed to step up leadership of an agreement largely designed by Washington under former president Barack Obama, many delegates say.
The meeting “will be a great free advertisement for China,” one European environment minister said. And Beijing plans to launch a nationwide carbon market this year, albeit delayed from the first half.Adding urgency, 2017 is set to be the second warmest on record, behind 2016, according to NASA. And 2017 has had weather extremes of hurricanes, floods and drought-fuelled wildfires.