China has already overtaken the US as the world’s largest auto market. It holds the title of the world’s largest producer of solar panels as well as biggest installer of Photovoltaic panels. Will they now make another move to outshine the US in the field of curbing carbon emissions, building a green economy and transitioning over to the energy that will power the 21st century? Sadly, the answer is yes.
Xin Guobin, China's Vice Premier in charge of industry and information technology, announced that his country will be setting a deadline for the ban of all vehicles which run exclusively on gasoline or diesel. While the deadline has not yet been firmly set, the rumored date is 2030, to coincide with China's commitment under the Paris climate accord, to curb carbon emissions. You will recall Donald Trump withdrew the US from that agreement, leaving us among three sole dissenters.
In the not too distant future, American auto makers may be in the unenviable position of being unable to meet Chinese environmental standards. Meanwhile, does our President care about any of this? Of course not. He rolled back Obama’s far more modest emission standards for fuel efficiency, reinstated the Dakota Pipeline and is now in the business of making sure coal mines stay in business forever. We are never going to meet the challengers (or our competitors) facing us in the 21st century by getting our energy like it’s the 19th. Ultimately, this backwards rolling train has got to move forward before we are relegated to second tier status.