Ever since the U.S. announced its withdrawal from the Paris agreement, China and India have been hailed for firmly recommitting to the global emissions pact. The praise is fair: It’s good that two of the world’s three biggest greenhouse-gas emitters have renewed their promise to act. But if they really hope to lead on climate, they’ll have to be more ambitious.
Both countries were climate laggards until recently, prone to blaming the West for rising concentrations of greenhouse gases. Now they’re genuinely trying to cut their emissions. Earlier this year, China pledged to invest more than $360 billion in green energy projects through 2020, and it has canceled plans to build more than 100 new coal-fired power plants. India says that renewables will account for more than half of its installed electricity capacity by 2027.