Although he denied it during the first Presidential debate in September, President-elect Donald Trump did indeed blame China for creating the ‘global warming hoax’ saying the country did so in order to hurt American business. He made this outrageous claim via Twitter in November 2012 and China is finally speaking up about how ridiculous a notion that is.
The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 6, 2012
It’s been four years since the the Tweet, but China’s Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin refuted the preposterous accusation Wednesday, saying:
“If you look at the history of climate change negotiations, actually it was initiated by the IPCC with the support of the Republicans during the Reagan and senior Bush administration during the late 1980s.”
Liu pointed out that China wasn’t even aware negotiations to cut pollution had started when Republican Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush were initiating global warming talks at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
The straightening out of facts took place during an interview with Liu held in Marrakech, Morocco, where ministers and officials from almost 200 countries have gathered this week at a United Nations climate conference discussing the implementation of the Paris climate agreement.
To insinuate China created the hoax “in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.” is even more outrageous considering it was China who joined forces with the Obama administration to garner support by the nearly 200 countries leading up to the 2015 Paris Agreement.
But with last week’s election of Trump, many of those who are committed to the agreement are worried about the future of the historic pact. Throughout his campaign, Trump promised to pull out of the agreement as well as reverse many of the policies the outgoing administration had put in place to fight climate change.
John Kerry, who was instrumental in securing the Paris Agreement last year but whose days as the US Secretary of State are now numbered, was at the conference trying to calm the brewing concerns, soothing:
“While I can’t stand here and speculate about what policies our president-elect will pursue, I will tell you this: in the time that I have spent in public life, one of the things I’ve learned is that some issues look a little bit different when you’re actually in office compared to when you’re on the campaign trail.” But Kerry continued to say that, “No one has a right to make decisions for billions of people based solely on ideology. Climate change shouldn’t be a partisan issue. It isn’t a partisan issue for our military. It isn’t a partisan issue for our intelligence community.”
But if the Americans, who are the second largest emitter of greenhouse gasses after China, want to step down as leaders in the fight against climate change, China is ready to step into the role. As Zou Ji, deputy director of the National Centre for Climate Change Strategy and a senior Chinese climate talks negotiator, told Reuters:
“Proactively taking action against climate change will improve China’s international image and allow it to occupy the moral high ground.” Zou continued, “China’s influence and voice are likely to increase in global climate governance, which will then spill over into other areas of global governance and increase China’s global standing, power and leadership.”
But in the meantime, China promises to adhere to the agreement and is hopeful Trump will wake up and take his role seriously.
“As the largest developed economy in the world, US support is essential,” Liu said. “We have to expect they will take a smart and wise decision.”
Smart? Wise? Obviously, Liu did not follow the election.
Featured image via Anthony Kwan/ Getty Images