I have an op-ed piece on CNN today about the new climate agreement between the US and China. The full piece is here, and the first three paragraphs below.
The agreement between President Obama and President Xi of China to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is the most important advance in the several decades-long history of international climate negotiations. It has been greeted with rage by those in Congress whose positions on the science are denialist or evasive (“I am not a scientist”). Their criticisms are specious and predictable.
But while most climate scientists I know are still sharing a period of joy following its announcement, some substantive criticisms of the agreement have also been raised. I want to address two of them here.
One is that the agreement doesn’t do enough to solve the problem of global warming. The other is that it doesn’t promise anything that wasn’t likely to happen anyway. Both of these criticisms have some truth, but neither diminishes the importance of what Presidents Obama and Xi have achieved.