China To Adopt a Cap And Trade Program

HayJenn

Moderator
Jul 2014
70,035
60,035
CA
#1
While not nearly as sexy (?) as the news that John Boehner will be dragging his orange ass back to Ohio (or more likely, to a nice lobbying firm where he can make lots of money to feed the wind-up monkey on his back), there’s some way more important news out of Washington, at least for the long term: Chinese President Xi Jinping announced that China is adopting a cap-and-trade program to limit emissions of greenhouse gases, which is HUGE news in the fight against climate change. The move also eliminates one of climate change deniers’ favorite arguments against the U.S. taking any action: Why should we reduce our CO2 output when China’s building all those coal power plants and won’t do anything about climate change? Not that we doubt Republicans’ creativity in finding other reasons to ignore the issue, like maybe throwing TWO snowballs, but it’s still a good thing.

The Chinese cap-and-trade program is a follow-up to the agreement reached last November when Barack Obama traveled to China to do some Star Trek cosplay and figure out what the world’s two biggest producers of carbon pollution could do to keep the planet from overheating. Ironically enough, the Chinese plan is largely based on the market-based initiative that Obama tried to get Congress to pass back in his first term, which the Senate killed because senators from coal states argued that China would never agree to similar reductions. And maybe because Sen. Joe Manchin (D-But From West Virginia) shot it.


China’s action isn’t being taken solely out of its desire to stand on a hilltop with a Coca-Cola and sing about sunshine and rainbows, of course. As the New York Times points out: Domestic and external pressures have driven the Chinese government to take firmer action to curb emissions from fossil fuels, especially coal. Growing public anger about the noxious air that often envelops Beijing and many other Chinese cities has prompted the government to introduce restrictions on coal and other sources of smog, with the side benefit of reducing carbon dioxide pollution. The authorities also see economic benefits in reducing fossil fuel use.


China Ruins Republicans' Favorite Excuse For Ignoring Climate Change - Wonkette

This really is BIG deal...
 
Aug 2015
619
167
Outremer (Taiwan)
#2
It's China, whether such a program is effectively implemented is a big maybe. More than anything it's a characterization of their attempt to transition their economy out of manufacturing and into service and IT industries now that they've built a lot of infrastructure.

The real reason people don't do anything is because they don't want to (see California, Australia) and not because of what China does or doesn't do.
 
Aug 2015
619
167
Outremer (Taiwan)
#4
Doesn't California have its own version of cap and trade?
Yes, but it only expanded to cover gasoline some six months ago amid the steep drop in gas prices: CALIFORNIA: Cap and trade expands to cover gasoline, diesel, but slumping pump prices hide impact -- Tuesday, January 6, 2015 -- www.eenews.net

Having cap and trade and having an impact on carbon and pollution output is not the same thing. More tangible attempts to change these things have consistently been failing to pass (California) or have been repealed (Australia).
 

ARMCX1

Former Staff
Jun 2013
15,162
9,940
SoCal
#5
Yes, but it only expanded to cover gasoline some six months ago amid the steep drop in gas prices: CALIFORNIA: Cap and trade expands to cover gasoline, diesel, but slumping pump prices hide impact -- Tuesday, January 6, 2015 -- www.eenews.net

Having cap and trade and having an impact on carbon and pollution output is not the same thing. More tangible attempts to change these things have consistently been failing to pass (California) or have been repealed (Australia).
Likely the result of industry money in California politics and issue advertising. I've seen any number of sensible things shot down by money in California that had public support initially. Public support for California's cap and trade is large ~mid 70% so the voter support is there.

Can't really speak to Australia.
 
Aug 2015
619
167
Outremer (Taiwan)
#6
Likely the result of industry money in California politics and issue advertising. I've seen any number of sensible things shot down by money in California that had public support initially. Public support for California's cap and trade is large ~mid 70% so the voter support is there.

Can't really speak to Australia.
What happened in Cali is they were going to directly tax gas. The problem with that idea is that gas is, relatively speaking, a much bigger share of the poor's income than the rich people's income. So it was going to disproportionately impact the poor. There's also poor or poorer people who drive more for their jobs which was also not fair.

The same thing can happen with cap and trade. The left hasn't come to terms with the fact that environmentalist taxes are flat taxes and they hate flat taxes.