The simple reason is that dictatorships are much, much more effective at actually doing things… once they decide to do it.
But the Chinese are making a huge effort to change the city from one of the pollution capitals of the world into a new, green city. They are spending money to do this too. But look at what happened.
The government basically told one of the largest business in the city (a steel plant) to move and clean up. Four billion dollars later and they are in process, but the company is doing it. Yes, there’s a very wide difference between US businesses and Chinese businesses. But the point is that, not only can it be done, but companies will do it.
What if the US congress said, “No government contracts will be awarded to businesses that are not carbon neutral.”
That’s pretty much all it would take and businesses would be falling over themselves trying to meet that requirement. Think about the workers that would be hired to update factories, install new technologies, design and build more efficient systems.
Of course the bought and paid for politicians would put so many extensions and riders into the law that it would be effectively meaningless, but it could work.
If US politicians would support the country and the people instead of their pocketbooks and businesses.