Will Donald Trump be able to dismantle Obama’s Clean Power policy completely? What are the consequences for the US executive order signed some days ago by the new president? And what will happen now in the international arena? Is The Paris Agreement at risk, or only the climate leadership of the United States?
The decision taken by Mr. President gives the green light to coal mining on federal lands and instructs the EPA to begin a comprehensive review of the Clean Power Plan.
Is the Paris Agreement really at risk?
Besides, the market will have the last word: asking for investments does not automatically mean that companies start to do so, especially if the convenience of potential profits – such as coal – does not look particularly attractive.
Industry analysts have little doubts: Trump’s measure will fail to make coal competitive compared to the cheaper and most efficient renewable energies (solar and Geothermal).
The environmental impact in the US
According to the Italian Carlo Carraro, professor of Environmental Economics at the University of Venice, Trump’s decision will not have too many consequences on environmental legislation in the US. Most decisions are in fact taken by States, and many have extremely advanced environmental policies.
What about China and India
China confirms all commitments on cutting greenhouse gas emissions despite US President Donald Trump has eased restrictions on the use of fossil fuels.
The spokesman of the Foreign Ministry, Lu Kang, said that it is “a challenge for the whole human race” and Beijing has every intention to honour and support the climate agreement painstakingly reached in Paris.
According to Gianni Silvestrini, an expert on renewable energies and director of the NGO Kyoto Club, at an international level, China and India closed coal mines and power plants are no longer built. To reduce greenhouse gasses, they need to do more than pledged with the Paris Agreement; this is because they have serious problems of pollution and are strong in renewables sectors. China is a leader in solar, wind, electric cars and even Africa and South America have extremely affordable renewable technologies.
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