U.S. became "global leader" in emissions reduction in 2019; Leftists give him no credit at all
Under President Trump, the United States led the world in reducing carbon-dioxide emissions in 2019, but don’t expect Greta Thunberg to give him a hug any time soon.
International Energy Agency data released earlier this month showing that U.S. emissions dropped by 2.9% last tear failed to make an impression with Democrats.
Environmentalists and climate activists, who either shrugged off the data or argued that Mr. Trump’s "climate-denialism" was somehow thwarted.
“U.S. carbon emissions declined last year in spite of every effort by the Trump administration to prop up dirty energy,” said David Doniger, senior strategic director of the Climate & Clean Energy Program at the National Resources Defense Council, in an email.
Such responses drew an eye-roll from Republicans.
“Have they given the President credit for anything since taking office? It’s not surprising,” said Austin Hacker, spokesman for the Republicans on the House Natural Resource Committee.
“The facts speak for themselves,” he added. “Under President Trump, the United States has finally become an energy exporter and a global leader in emissions reductions.”
At the same time, the climate skeptics who have backed Mr. Trump’s push to boost coal, bring back manufacturing, and pull out of the Paris agreement warned against doing backflips over the continued U.S. decline in greenhouse gases.
Myron Ebell, director of the Center for Energy and the Environment at the free-market Competitive Enterprise Institute, said that cheering the reduction surrenders the field to the climate-change movement.
“I have very contrary feelings about it,” Mr. Ebell said. “I understand why various people want to take credit for it because it annoys and challenges other countries, which are not making reductions in carbon-dioxide emissions. But on the other hand, it concedes the point that there’s something good about lowering carbon-dioxide emissions.”
Under the Trump administration, the nation has become a net exporter of oil and natural gas, years ahead of predictions, while U.S. emissions have continued an overall decline that began in 2005 as natural gas, spurred by the shale and fracking revolution, and renewable energy replace coal in electricity generation.
“I don’t see that it’s a good thing. It’s just a fact,” Mr. Ebell said. “The other thing I would point out is that if the Trump strategy is successful, we should see a continuing return of energy-intensive manufacturing in this country, and if that’s the case, emissions are going to start going up again at some point.”
The IEA data released Feb. 11 showed that after two years of increases, global carbon-dioxide emissions flattened in 2019 as developed nations, led by the United States, the European Union and Japan, reduced their output even as emissions continued to rise in the world’s two most-populous nations — China and India.
“US emissions are now down almost 1 Gt from their peak in the year 2000, the largest absolute decline by any country over that period,” the report said. “A 15% reduction in the use of coal for power generation underpinned the decline in overall US emissions in 2019.”
The IEA data coincided with Jan. 17 figures from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, which found that energy-related carbon-dioxide emissions fell by 2.1% in 2019, and predicted a 2.0% decline in 2020 and a 1.5% drop in 2021.