Yes, the USA is ceding global leadership to China because of its climate change denial. Climate change is the biggest threat in existence to the future of humanity and our planet. The nations who lead the fight against climate change will be the nations that end up determining the future of civilization.
I believe the USA needs to become more involved in efforts to slow the progress of climate change. As one of the largest countries in the developed world, the USA needs to take responsibility in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and allowing China to take over global leadership is a way of avoiding their responsibility.
Embracing climate change is embracing socialism over democracy. It is telling people not to produce wanted products that will give people jobs. china has decided not to go this route and instead to embrace the economy. Climate change is a political issue just as much as it is financial. The US should keep the economic edge.
The USA is not ceding global leadership to China because of its climate change denial. There is no question that both the USA and China lead the world in global power. However, USA's denial of climate change would not have any effect on China's leadership influence. China may progress in green measures to prevent climate change, but USA will not decrease in power because of that.