Who's the Cleanest of Them All

By Stephen Moore

August 21, 2018 4 min read

Take a wild guess what country is reducing its greenhouse gas emissions the most? Canada? Britain? France? India? Germany? Japan? No, no, no, no, no and no.

The answer to that question is the U.S. of A. Wow! How can that be? This must be a misprint. Fake news. America never ratified the Kyoto Treaty some two decades ago. We never enacted a carbon tax. We don't have a cap-and-trade carbon emission program. That environmental villain Donald Trump pulled America out of the Paris climate accord that was signed by almost the entire rest of the civilized world.

Yet the latest world climate report from the BP Statistical Review of World Energy finds that in 2017, America reduced its carbon emissions by 0.5 percent, the most of all major countries. That's especially impressive given that our economy grew by nearly 3 percent — so we had more growth and less pollution — the best of all worlds. The major reason for the reduced pollution levels is the shale oil and gas revolution that is transitioning the world to cheap and clean natural gas for electric power generation.

Meanwhile, as our emissions fell, the pollution levels rose internationally and by a larger amount than in previous years. So much for the rest of the world going green.

The world's largest emitter of carbon dioxide emissions is China. According to the invaluable Institute for Energy Research, "China produces 28 percent of the world's carbon dioxide emissions. India is the world's third-largest emitter of carbon dioxide and had the second-largest increment (93 million metric tons) of carbon dioxide emissions in 2017, more than twice as much an increase as the U.S. reduction." This means it doesn't really matter how much America reduces its greenhouse gases because China and India cancel out any and all progress we make. Those who think they are helping save the planet by purchasing an electric car or putting a solar panel on their roof are barking up the wrong tree. There is no way to make progress on greenhouse gases without China and India on board — which they clearly are not.

This latest data also proves that despite all of the criticism across the globe and in the American media, Trump was right to pull the U.S. out of the flawed Paris climate accord. Nearly every nation that signed on to Paris and has admonished America for not doing so, has already violated the agreement. According to Climate Action Network Europe, "All EU countries are failing to increase their climate action in line with the Paris Agreement goal." All but five countries have even reached 50 percent of their current targets.

So there you have it. The countries in the Paris climate accord have broken almost every promise they've made and the nation (the U.S.) that hasn't signed the treaty is doing more than any other nation to reduce global warming. Yet, we are being lectured by the sanctimonious Europeans and Asians for not doing our fair share to save the planet. It's another case study in how the left cares far more about good intentions than actual results. What matters is that you say that you will wash the dishes, not that you actually do it.

Stephen Moore is a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation and an economic consultant with Freedom Works. He is the co-author of "Fueling Freedom: Exposing the Mad War on Energy." To find out more about Stephen Moore and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.

Photo credit: at Pixabay

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