She's touting decreased greenhouse gas emissions that are tied to America's struggling economy.
Ivanka Trump bragged on Tuesday that America's greenhouse gas emissions dropped in 2020 to their lowest levels in decades. But the main reason for this decline was her father's botched handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and its devastating impact on the nation's economy.
"FACT: Greenhouse gases generated by the U.S. will slide 9.2% this year, tumbling to the lowest level in at least three decades," Trump's daughter and White House adviser tweeted, citing the Environmental Protection Agency.
But according to a BloombergNEF study released last week, the decline was almost entirely due to the coronavirus pandemic. Without it, the report estimated, the drop would have been only 1%.
Experts say this inadvertent progress is not nearly enough to solve the existential threat to humanity.
"Nothing about the economic hardship coming from COVID-19 points the way forward on climate change except that it points out how we often discount our own systemic vulnerability," Sarah Ladislaw of the Energy Security and Climate Change Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies told the Washington Post last week. "Tackling climate change requires a systematic and complete overhaul of our energy system."
Climate scientists have also noted previously that while the short-term reduction in greenhouse emissions from cars and airplanes is good, the long-term impact of the pandemic could be more harmful to the planet than helpful. The increase in plastic usage, single-use cups, and medical waste will not be assessable for some time.
If Donald Trump deserves any credit for the reduction in the emissions that fuel global climate change, it is because he handled the coronavirus pandemic so poorly.
Trump's failure to control the virus has left millions unemployed and caused a significant decline in GDP. Economists warned months ago that rushing to reopen the economy before it was safe to do so could make things even worse, when a second wave hit. Trump plowed forward anyway, demanding states reopen immediately. As cases have spiked in recent weeks, consumer confidence and spending have plummeted.
To date, more than 12 million Americans — including Trump and much of his administration — have been infected by the coronavirus. More than 255,000 have died.
Like the pandemic, Trump has also played down climate change, suggesting it is not a real problem. Before running for president, he called it a "con," a "hoax,' and a Chinese conspiracy to undermine American manufacturing.
After taking office, he pulled out of the Paris climate treaty, worked to expand fossil fuel production, canceled clean power regulations, pushed to reduce car fuel economy standards, attacked clean energy, and suppressed climate science.
Earlier this year, Trump baselessly claimed that the world "will start getting cooler," stating, "I don't think science knows, actually."
President-elect Joe Biden made climate action a major part of his campaign platform. On Monday, he announced that former Secretary of State John Kerry will serve as his special envoy for climate.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.