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Trump executive order puts protecting jobs ahead of the environment

China has increasingly become a global leader on climate issues

Hong Kong CNN  — 

US President Donald Trump’s move to rollback environmental protections leaves China poised to take the lead in the global fight against climate change.

Saying that it would “start a new era of production and job creation,” Trump signed a sweeping executive order Tuesday scrapping much of Barack Obama’s climate legacy.

Some analysts have expressed concern this could enable Beijing – the world’s leading emitter of greenhouse gases – to water down its own commitments, but others say it is more likely China will step into a leading role in the vacuum left by Washington.

“China now finds itself in the unenviable position of being world leader on climate change, thanks to Trump’s willfully blind irresponsibility,” Mark Lynas, a fellow at the Alliance for Science at Cornell University, wrote for CNN Opinion.

Speaking Wednesday, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Lu Kang said the country will “continue to work with relevant parties for enhanced dialog and cooperation, hand-in-hand to manage climate change, to promote efforts to put the global economy on a green and low carbon path, in order to pass on a better future to the generations to come.”

What Trump’s executive order on climate change means for the world