The alarm bells of the climate crisis have been ringing for years. There is an increasing consensus among climate scientists that it is indispensable to hold the increase in the global average temperature within 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. But as the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitters, the United States and China have not cooperated to commit themselves to sufficiently meeting this climate goal.
China’s climate policy is consistent with a global warming of 3 degrees Celsius and the US nationally determined contribution is consistent with a 2 degrees Celsius temperature target. Yet at the 27th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, both countries pointed fingers at each other for not acting fast enough.
Owing to technological, domestic political and systemic factors, great power cooperation to attain the 1.5 degrees Celsius target is dead.