US Elections

Climate: hoax or emergency? This is what is at stake in the US elections

Start

We are committed over the long term to a global energy transition. The aim is to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and to develop structures based on renewable and more efficient energy sources. This profound change has many positive aspects: job creation, lower air pollution, fewer greenhouse gas emissions, reduced exposure to the risks associated with the extraction, storage and transport of fossil fuels. It also gives individuals, households and communities greater control over their energy systems. The next President of the United States will, of course, have a critical role to play in how the country approaches this transition.

Aew renewables are growing rapidly and are causing social and institutional changes energy use in power grids, buildings and transport. Two types of measures influence the speed at which the United States will shift from fossil fuels to renewables: those that support energy efficiency and renewables; and those that weaken support for and use of fossil fuels.

On these issues, there are very clear differences between the programs of the current White House candidates.

On the Republican side

Most of the main Republican candidates reject the existence of a causal link between the use of fossil fuels and climate change; they strongly support fossil fuels and oppose the development of renewable energies.

Donald Trump has repeatedly said he didn't believe to climate change, calling it hoax. Trump did not really provide a substantive analysis of the issue, stating only that wind turbines were fatal to birds. In fact, he attempted to block - without winning its case - the construction of offshore wind turbines near one of its golf hotels in Scotland, arguing that they would spoil the view and risk damaging tourism.

Senator Ted Cruz has called climate change "the greatest threat to our planet". "pseudo-scientific theory". Fierce defender of a energy strategy firing all kinds of wood, he called for the end of all grants and criticized the Obama administration for stating a "war" to coal, oil and natural gas. Although it represents Texas, the state with the greatest wind energy potential, Cruz has never recognized the opportunities for a renewable energy transition.

Why not enjoy unlimited reading of UP'? Subscribe from €1.90 per week.

If Senator Marco Rubio has stated that he believes in the existence of climate changeHowever, he denies that the latter is anthropogenic. Rubio has made public a detailed plan focused on making the United States energy independent from Middle Eastern oil through energy efficiency and domestic fossil fuel production.

 

Students in the process of developing prototype motors for wind turbines.

Cruz and Rubio voted against Extending tax credits for wind energy production, supporting the development of rooftop solar installations and introducing a target of 25 % of electricity consumed in the United States from renewable sources by 2025.

Unlike the other Republican candidates, John Kasich... has shown concern by climate change. But this grandson of a coal miner has no plans to reduce the use of fossil fuels, even though he has promoted carbon capture and storage to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants.

His plan s Energy Policy presents reliable and cheap energy resources as the "backbone" of the US economy, supporting the diversification of production sources, including a very large share of fossil fuels, nuclear and renewable energies. Kasich said he supports increased oil and gas production on federal lands, the construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, and the cancellation of the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan to limit carbon emissions from power plants.

READ UP : Obama's Ambitious Climate Plan Halted Outright by Republicans

 

On the Democratic side

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders say it is urgent for the United States to accelerate its transition to clean and sustainable energy. They say this transition will create jobs and help mitigate the effects of climate change.

Clinton set two key objectives for the development of sustainable energies. First of all, it has declared its wish to see 50 million solar panels installed by the end of its mandate, i.e. 7 times more than the current number. But solar energy is already growing rapidly in the United States - more 17 % in 2015 - that promise may well come true on its own. Clinton also said that within 10 years of taking office, the United States will produce enough renewable energy to power every home in the country.

To fight against disinformation and to favour analyses that decipher the news, join the circle of UP' subscribers.

Clinton emphasized the importance of benefiting communities low-income of efficient and renewable energy; it also called for a plan for modernising infrastructure The Group's activities in the United States include investments in hydroelectricity and the modernization of the power grid. In its campaign launch speech, it declared itself in favour of a rise fees and royalties on fossil fuel production, the money raised would be invested in a clean energy transition. Clinton supports tax credits for wind and solar energy production.

Of all the leading candidates, Bernie Sanders was the one who made the proposals the most advanced to reach 100 % of renewable energy production, tax carbon and leave fossil fuels on the ground. Sanders relied on statements from the Pope Francis which considers that the abandonment of fossil fuels is a moral imperative for the planet.

 

 

At the Joint Bioenergy Institute, a partnership between federal laboratories, the Carnegie Institution for Science and the University of California.

 

In the Senate, Sanders proposed several bills to develop access to renewable energies (Low-Income Solar Act, Residential Energy Savings Act, Green Jobs Act). He also proposed a bill to prohibit all new leases of fossil fuel production on state-owned land. Like Clinton, he supports tax credits for wind and solar power generation.

But the fossil fuel industry is very powerful in the United States: they provide more than 80 % of the country's total energy consumption. It is therefore not surprising that few candidates dare to oppose it head-on.

If Clinton and Sanders both claim stricter regulation of hydraulic fracturing, Sanders has also proposed a series of specific actions to limit this practice. Clinton and Sanders regret that some of their colleagues do not recognise the link between fossil fuel combustion and climate change.

Thinking about energy differently

Moving towards more efficient and renewable energy systems is undoubtedly a venture that involves risks and uncertainties. From works studies on energy transitions suggest that actors currently benefiting from the fossil fuel regime feel increasingly threatened and that their resistance is likely to intensify.

The transition to renewable energy is fundamentally changing the way we produce, use and distribute energy. It will reassess and rethink the cultural and institutional foundations of energy planning. Advances in the fields of solar energy (especially rooftop), storage and electric vehicles have opened up new possibilities for the management of a decentralized energy system.

As utilities, renewables entrepreneurs, communities and customers gain more experience, it is becoming easier to turn our backs on old beliefs that alternative energy is more limited than fossil fuels. As we have seen, in the presidential race, Democratic candidates are clearly emphasizing the positive potential of the inevitable U.S. transition to renewable energy systems, while Republican candidates are resisting change and clinging to the structures and reflexes of the fossil fuel era.

Jennie C. StephensAssociate Professor of Sustainability Science and Policy, University of Vermont

The original text of this article was published on The Conversation.

The Conversation

Nous avons un message pour vous…

Dès sa création, il y a plus de dix ans,  nous avons pris l’engagement que UP’ Magazine accordera au dérèglement climatique, à l’extinction des espèces sauvages, à la pollution, à la qualité de notre alimentation et à la transition écologique l’attention et l’importance urgentes que ces défis exigent. Cet engagement s’est traduit, en 2020, par le partenariat de UP’ Magazine avec Covering Climate Now, une collaboration mondiale de 300 médias sélectionnés pour renforcer la couverture journalistique des enjeux climatiques. En septembre 2022, UP’ Magazine a adhéré à la Charte pour un journalisme à la hauteur de l’urgence écologique.

Nous promettons de vous tenir informés des mesures que nous prenons pour nous responsabiliser à ce moment décisif de notre vie. La désinformation sur le climat étant monnaie courante, et jamais plus dangereuse qu’aujourd’hui, il est essentiel que UP’ Magazine publie des rapports précis et relaye des informations faisant autorité – et nous ne resterons pas silencieux.

Notre indépendance éditoriale signifie que nous sommes libres d’enquêter et de contester l’inaction de ceux qui sont au pouvoir. Nous informerons nos lecteurs des menaces qui pèsent sur l’environnement en nous fondant sur des faits scientifiques et non sur des intérêts commerciaux ou politiques. Et nous avons apporté plusieurs modifications importantes à notre expression éditoriale pour que le langage que nous utilisons reflète fidèlement, mais sans catastrophisme, l’urgence écologique.

UP’ Magazine estime que les problèmes auxquels nous sommes confrontés dans le cadre de la crise climatique sont systémiques et qu’un changement sociétal fondamental est nécessaire. Nous continuerons à rendre compte des efforts des individus et des communautés du monde entier qui prennent courageusement position pour les générations futures et la préservation de la vie humaine sur terre. Nous voulons que leurs histoires inspirent l’espoir.

Nous espérons que vous envisagerez de nous soutenir aujourd’hui. Nous avons besoin de votre soutien pour continuer à offrir un journalisme de qualité, ouvert et indépendant. Chaque abonnement des lecteurs, quelle que soit sa taille, est précieux. Soutenez UP’ Magazine à partir d’1.90 € par semaine seulement – et cela ne prend qu’une minute. Merci de votre soutien.

Je m’abonne →

0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Bill Gates Formula
Previous article

PxSxExC: Bill Gates' formula for defeating global warming

datacenters
Next article

The impact of digital technology on the climate is not virtual.

Latest articles from Climate

JOIN

THE CIRCLE OF THOSE WHO WANT TO UNDERSTAND OUR TIME OF TRANSITION, LOOK AT THE WORLD WITH OPEN EYES AND ACT.
logo-UP-menu150

Already registered? I'm connecting

Inscrivez-vous et lisez three articles for free. Recevez aussi notre newsletter pour être informé des dernières infos publiées.

→ Register for free to continue reading.

JOIN

THE CIRCLE OF THOSE WHO WANT TO UNDERSTAND OUR TIME OF TRANSITION, LOOK AT THE WORLD WITH OPEN EYES AND ACT

You have received 3 free articles to discover UP'.

Enjoy unlimited access to our content!

From $1.99 per week only.
Share
Tweet
Share
WhatsApp
Email