Former Vice President Joe Biden pointed to the Obama administration’s signing of the Paris climate accord in 2015 after a reporter asked him Thursday what he has done in the past several years to push back against China.
“We did an awful lot with China. What we did with China, first of all, was we got them to join the Paris peace accord — the climate accord,” he told a reporter at a press gathering in Iowa, referring to former President Barack Obama’s role in forging the agreement. He continued to say the U.S. got China to change its direction in terms of some foreign policy issues.
The deal, which was signed by about 200 countries, is a non-binding accord that does not compel through force China’s adherence.
Biden is touting his credentials in Des Moines, Iowa, as he ramps up his 2020 presidential campaign. The visit has culminated in a several gaffs — he told one crowd Thursday he believes in “truth over facts” and most recently said “poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids.”
President Donald Trump began the process in 2017 to remove the U.S. from the agreement partially because he said it gave China a pass. Other Republican lawmakers have expressed similar concerns. (RELATED: GOP Senator Completely Debunks Macron’s Paris Climate Accord Claims)
Exempting China and India from abiding to the non-binding deal is one of the main reasons why greenhouse gas emissions are increasing, GOP Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana said in a 2018 interview on Fox News. Regulations in the U.S. are causing companies to shift production to countries not tethered to the accord’s strict provisions.
Experts also say much of the increase in global emissions is coming from countries like India and China, both of which are consuming coal and other fossil fuels at alarming rates.
Carbon emissions rose in 2017 after stalling for three years in a row, according to a report that year by the International Energy Agency (IEA). IEA’s report mirrors findings published in the Global Carbon Project in 2017, predicting global emissions would rise 2%.
CO2 emissions rose because of a 2.1% increase in global energy demand — 70% of which was met by fossil fuels, especially natural gas and coal-fired electricity. China’s 6% jump in electricity demand was met by coal, IEA reported.
Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign was focused around dinging China, which he says has been cheating the U.S. on trade deals for decades. The president imposed a 10% tariff on an additional $300 billion worth of Chinese imports in September 2018 — on top of a 25% tariff already imposed on $250 billion worth of imports.
Biden’s campaign has not responded to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.