Technology Climate: Donald Trump’s United States does better than Barack Obama’s promise

Climate: Donald Trump’s United States does better than Barack Obama’s promise




Wind turbines along a road in Texas (USA). (PAUL HARRIS / PHOTO ARCHIVE)

Ultimately, we cannot say that Donald Trump’s America has been the enemy of the climate. Despite his exit from the Paris agreement, despite his allegations on global warming (a hoax invented by the Chinese), against all expectations under his tenure, pollution has dropped. And even more than what his predecessor had promised to do. Indeed, Barack Obama made a commitment at the COP15 in Copenhagen to reduce his country’s greenhouse gas emissions by 17% between 2005 and 2020. Ultimately, it will be 21%.

In a report published on Wednesday January 13 by the Rhodium Group, which analyzes the emissions of the American economic sectors (energy production, transport, heating, etc.) each year, we note that with the pandemic, what has fallen the most these are the emissions from transport. Americans drove 15% fewer kilometers in 2020 compared to the previous year, consuming less fuel for cars and planes. Heavy industry, steel, cement, also worked much less, reducing its emissions by 7%. The consumption of buildings also fell with a decline of 6.7%, also linked in 2020 to a milder winter.

But, it’s not just the economic situation, there have also been gradual changes since 2015. Despite Donald Trump’s support, coal has become less profitable and, little by little, it has lost ground in the United States. United in the face of renewable energies which produced as much electricity as him last year. Texas is an example of a state that exploits gas and oil but is also the one that has installed the most wind turbines in recent years.

The newly elected president, Joe Biden wants to return to the Paris agreement. For that, it will have to reduce emissions by at least 26% or even 28% within five years, as the United States committed to at COP21. The challenge is immense because the American economy is still very carbonaceous. If the planes take off again, if the factories are back in full swing, emissions will skyrocket, as happened in 2008 after the financial crisis.

Joe Biden’s team faces the double injunction: to restart the country as quickly as possible while limiting the damage to the environment. He promised a $ 100 billion plan in renewables and carbon-free solutions. We will also have to think about reforestation after the gigantic fires that affected California and Oregon last year, causing nearly 4 million hectares of forest to go up in smoke. Fires that will mitigate this drastic reduction in 2020 in emissions from American economic sectors.

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