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Poll finds only 15% of Americans trust China to help deal with climate change

A new YouGov poll has found that only 15% of Americans trust China, currently the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases to pitch in and play their part in the fight against climate change.

When asked “Do you think China can be trusted to help fight climate change?” only 15% of respondents said they did, compared to the 57% who said they did not and the 28% who weren’t sure. The poll also found that Republicans are more sceptical than their Democratic counterparts, with 79% saying the Chinese could not be trusted, compared with 47% of Democrats and 60% of Independents. Even though a clear majority of Americans lack faith that China will take adequate measures to tackle climate change, a majority still believe that the U.S. should undertake strategies to cut emissions. When asked “Should the U.S. set ambitious climate change goals regardless of what China does?” 51% of Americans responded yes, with 29% saying no and 20% responding that they were unsure.

This poll comes just weeks after a report by the Rhodium Group concluded that China’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2019 vastly exceeded those of every other nation in the developed world combined. Perhaps these alarming figures have spurned the Beijing government into action, this year China made a pledge to become carbon neutral by 2060. However, Beijing did fail to make any similar pledge when it came to methane gas, which scientists believe is 28 times more environmentally toxic than carbon dioxide.

Compare this to President Biden’s target to cut greenhouse gas emissions by between 50 – 52% below 2005 levels by the year 2030. At the opening of Aprils world climate summit Biden remarked that “scientists tell us that this is the decisive decade – this is the decade we must make decisions that will avoid the worst consequences of the climate crisis,” adding that “the U.S. isn’t waiting, we are resolving to take action”. Whilst China made no specific commitments at the summit the countries President Xi Jinping hinted that tackling coal would be on his upcoming agenda, telling the gathering that “we will strictly control the coal-fired power generation projects,” by limiting the “increase in coal consumption over the 14th five-year-plan period and phase it down in the 15th five-year-plan period.” However, that’s likely to be after 2026.

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ARTICLE: NATHAN REID

POLITICS EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: FOREIGN POLICY

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