India and China to make up for Donald Trump's damaging stance on climate change

'Five years ago, the idea of either China or India stopping – or even slowing – coal use was considered an insurmountable hurdle'

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The Independent Online

Reductions in carbon emissions by India and China will eclipse any rise in the US as a result of Donald Trump’s efforts to boost the coal industry, according to a new analysis.

The Climate Action Tracker (CAT) found that recent developments in China and India, where there has been a marked shift away from coal, would reduce the projected growth in emissions by some three billion tonnes compared to a forecast made just a year ago.

By contrast, Mr Trump’s “sweeping policy rollbacks” were “unlikely to have a major impact on global emissions” by 2030, the project said on its website.

Dr Yvonne Deng, a consultant scientist at Ecofys, which contributes to the CAT project, said: “In the last 10 years, the energy market has transformed.

“The price of renewable energy from wind and solar has dropped drastically. 

“Renewables are now cost-competitive and being built at a much faster rate than coal-fired power plants.”

Bill Hare, of Climate Analytics, said the turnaround had been dramatic from the days when rapidly developing countries were powering their economies largely on coal.

“Five years ago, the idea of either China or India stopping – or even slowing – coal use was considered an insurmountable hurdle, as coal-fired power plants were thought by many to be necessary to satisfy the energy demands of these countries,” he said.

“Recent observations show they are now on the way toward overcoming this challenge.”

The CAT analysis found that if the Trump administration rescinded Barack Obama’s flagship Clean Power Plan, and US states, cities or others did not compensate for this, carbon dioxide emissions would be up to 200 million tonnes higher in 2025.

However, the overall impact of his policies would see American emissions plateau, rather than falling as had been projected under the Obama administration.

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