U.S. fails to fulfill climate obligations, disturbs global progress

Xinhua News Agency | Oct 23, 2020 at 7:23 AM

BEIJING, Oct. 23 (Xinhua) -- U.S. has failed to fulfill international obligations on climate change and been absent for a long time from multilateral environmental treaties, disturbing the global progress in environmental protection, a report has said.

The Report on US Damage to Global Environmental Governance released by China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday slammed Washington's irresponsible actions in protecting environment, saying that the poor record in its engagement and compliance with multilateral treaties "has greatly damaged the fairness, efficiency, and effectiveness of global environmental governance."

The Donald Trump administration announced its decision to quit the Paris Agreement in June 2017 and will formally withdraw from the climate change deal on Nov. 4.

The reckless withdrawal is a telling manifestation of its pursuit of "America First" policy and unilateralism, the report said.

"It embodies its contemptuous attitude toward international laws and rules, that is, 'apply or abandon them in a selective way'. Such withdrawal severely undermines global climate governance and international climate collaboration," it noted.

The report said the action "has weakened the ambition and joint efforts of the international community to tackle climate change, enlarged the deficit in global climate governance leadership, and brought complexity to the multilateral process of climate response."

In 2015, the Barack Obama government promised to reduce emissions by 26 percent to 28 percent compared to the 2005 level by 2025. However, the Trump administration reneged on the promise by announcing in June 2017 that it would refuse to fulfill the above goals.

The report also accused the United States of signing but not ratifying many multilateral environmental treaties such as the Kyoto Protocol and the Convention on Biological Diversity, which has posed severe challenges to global environmental integrity and effectiveness of these environmental treaties.

The report and the Fact Sheet on Environmental Damage by the US, also released on Monday, are aimed at exposing the terrible record of the United States in the sphere of environmental protection with the help of facts, and laying bare some U.S. individuals' trick of the thief calling out "stop the thief," the ministry's spokesperson Zhao Lijian said when asked to comment to the two documents.