Climate change and the responsibility of superpowers


Climate Change today is a critical challenge faced by the entire world at large. It is the most serious threat faced by humanity. There is an urgent need to work together to address the two global crises pandemic and climate change for the common concern of mankind. Tentative collective actions internationally required to prevent its causes and consequences on global level. Transition to a zero-carbon economy must be a manifesto of all the governments of the world. A heavy responsibility lies on the shoulders of both the superpowers of the world, China and USA, to displace their dependency on economies from gas and coal to solar and wind for power generation. There is an urgent need to devise a strategy to address the ill effects of modern energy-depleting technology by inventing new technologies which are environment friendly as no one is immune to its devastations. Climate variability challenges could be averted through environmentally sound technologies if adopted seriously by the concerned governments of the world.
The magnitude of climate change occurring rapidly due to “natural” and “anthropogenic” factors giving rise to global warming or temperature by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere leading to Droughts, Tropical storms, Earthquakes and our glaciers are also melting at a faster rate. Global average temperatures are shooting up and these huge changes triggered geological mayhem.
As Climate change is tightening its grip more on Earth it is pushing human life into a meteorologically more violent zone. Indeed climate change is triggering earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanoes across the globe which amplify the risk of extreme weather disasters. Climate change disasters have tripled in the last 30 years. Poor or developing countries face a future with enhanced risks or hardest hit by climate change despite being the least responsible for the crisis.
Ironically during Second World War, USA dropped the bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki two cities of Japan, the world afterwards experienced lethal climate disasters on our planet Earth. It adversely damaged our atmosphere. Climate change is wreaking havoc around the globe day by day. The technological, military and economic competition between superpowers of the world after world war two seriously hamper the efforts of the climate proof world. Climate change is a dangerous trend which needs mutual solidarity among the nations apart from their respective national interests. Both China and the USA have taken significant actions to devise climate change policies to address the issue reflecting their different histories and circumstances but both superpowers have yet to legitimize the view point of each other to turn difference barriers into pragmatic cooperation. Super power rivalry in terms of national economic and geopolitical interests leads to military, technological and economic competition for security and energy dominance on a global level. Both the U.S. and China if they work together can combat global warming by cooperatively promoting clean energy. This mutual strategy of cooperation can also become an important foundation for the U.S, China bilateral relationship in the years ahead. It could be an important confidence building measure to depolarize their relationship. Climate change has posed an epic threat to global crisis and it’s time for the countries to set aside their differences responsibly through Collective action to reduce CO2 emissions and disastrous greenhouse gas emissions. Unless both superpowers change their course of action, ongoing investments in 21st century technologies will commit the world as a whole to dangerous levels of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere in the decades to come. Recent political and technological developments make the benefits of such cooperation especially compelling. The new cold war between two superpowers though does not envision a U.S.-China condominium in any sphere due to trust deficit yet any agreement to cope up with the climate change issue if handled properly then in the long run such agreements can enhance bilateral and global capacities to manage critical world challenges. As it is said that wise leaders working together can produce great benefits for their own countries and the world. U.S.-China cooperation on climate change and clean energy can also help each country boost its energy security and pursue a sustainable economic path that will create jobs and promote economic vibrancy. There is a need for a pragmatic shift in the foreign policies of both the superpowers for mutual understanding for a greater cooperation to facilitate a smooth mechanism to address the climate problem. China is credited for taking over leadership over climate action by officially submitting into the Paris agreement when the US withdrew from it. Under the Paris Climate Agreement China committed to see its peak of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions before 2030 and achieve net-zero emissions before 2060. China under its Honorable President Xi Jinping has prepared a document of updated “Nationally Determined Contribution” NDC and pledged to lead to a lower peak in emissions being reached earlier than the officially stated goal of “before 2030”.
The trade wars, technology disputes and national rhetoric between the USA and China preclude the two superpowers’ mutual collaboration, cooperation, and global action for the crucial issue of Earth care regarding climate change. Though both China and the USA have a special global responsibility with Climate change as the US largest contributor to carbon emission for the last 150 years, China volume wise is the largest emitter for greenhouse gasses. The USA is perturbed by China that is why it has attained super power status both militarily and economically whereas China is annoyed by USA policy of containing it through vicious means. This superpower rivalry or fractious relationship between two states causes ignorance towards global security concerns as the world today witnessing Climate Change as a devastating global crisis. The U.S. and China should set aside their growing cold war rivalry and must focus on the common enemy of the globe i.e. climate change. China and the US mutually could supercharge global progress on climate action. But in case this cooperation or partnership frayed, the two nations risk jeopardizing progress on climate change with dire consequences for the entire globe when already catastrophic effects of rising temperatures are becoming a clearer threat than ever. There’s no solution to climate change without China and the USA moving in the same direction on a united front. Together, China and the USA must cooperate with each other to meet the global goal of limiting global temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Climate Change could be an oasis in US China amidst sky-high tensions over trade, so called human rights violations and security issues. Washington and Beijing need to find a way to collaborate on global warming just as Washington and Moscow worked together to limit nuclear proliferation during the Cold War. Cooperation on climate change between China and the United States is one of the few areas in which the two countries have common interests against increasingly fierce hostility and coldness in diplomatic relations. China is individually tackling climate change as a goal of green development of the economic and social system and is producing 72% of all solar panels globally and is the world’s leading maker of solar panels, wind turbines, electric vehicles and lithium ion batteries. Both USA and China are proposing different goals and approaches, and seeking to reach consensus with other countries compete for the discourse power and the leading influence of green development but climate change is becoming international colosseum and it is only the cooperation between the United States and China that will largely set the direction for global efforts to tackle climate change. The two countries should fund joint research projects and exchange best practices with regulators and academics to curb climate change with urgency.
Today the entire world along with China and USA will have to be in a race against time to reduce emissions to cope up with climate impacts which otherwise will escalate in time to come as survival of many countries of the world today rests on fighting against Climate Change. Global climate change is a public matter hence requires concerted and collective actions by all mankind to increase international wellbeing and welfare.

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