GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) took on Greta Thunberg and other climate kids testifying before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and Select Committee on the Climate Crisis Wednesday and pointed out that the United States is leading the race on reducing CO2 emissions, while China’s emissions continue to rise.
Teen climate activist Greta Thunberg joined other young activists to push their climate change agenda before U.S. lawmakers at the joint hearing Wednesday. Thunberg did not provide a prepared testimony, giving lawmakers a copy of the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report instead.
“I am submitting this report as my testimony because I don’t want you to listen to me,” Thunberg wrote. “I want you to listen to the scientists. And I want you to unite behind the science.”
While many Democrat lawmakers appeared to be on board with the activists’ pleas, some GOP lawmakers questioned the arguments presented by the teens. Kinzinger, specifically, used his time to demonstrate that the U.S. is not the problem.
“Meanwhile, as the West looks at options to combat climate change, we all know that China’s global emissions continue to rise. For every ton of carbon dioxide reduced by the United States, China adds nearly four times as much,” Kinzinger explained.
“Today the Chinese account for 30 percent of global emissions. While some may say that the United States needs to be the leader of combating climate change, I would say that we already are,” he continued, pointing out that the U.S. has decreased its emissions more than the following 12 emission-reducing countries combined.
“Since 2005 global emissions have increased by 20 percent, but the United States emissions have decreased by more than the next 12 emission-reducing countries combined,” he added.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a report last year, indicating that greenhouse gases were actually reduced during President Trump’s first year in office, dropping 2.7 percent from 2016 to 2017, as Breitbart News reported:
“Thanks to President Trump’s regulatory reform agenda, the economy is booming, energy production is surging, and we are reducing greenhouse gas emissions from major industrial sources,” EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler said in a statement.
“These achievements flow largely from technological breakthroughs in the private sector, not the heavy hand of government. The Trump Administration has proven that federal regulations are not necessary to drive CO2 reductions,” Wheeler continued. “While many around the world are talking about reducing greenhouse gases, the U.S. continues to deliver, and today’s report is further evidence of our action-oriented approach.”
Climate activist Jamie Margolin questioned the arguments, citing the inaction of other countries and said, “This is all about being able to look your children in the eye and say, ‘I did absolutely everything I could for you.’”
“How can we call ourselves a city on a Hill … if we’re going be cowards and hide behind — waiting for other people,” she added. “Saying that ‘I’m not going to do this, because they didn’t.’”