Climate Game Changer?

Today sees what could be a major breakthrough in the world of Energy and Climate Change in the form of the revised US Clean Power Plan

 

Source: The Daily Telegraph

Today sees what could be a major breakthrough in the world of Energy and Climate Change in the form of the revised Clean Power Plan – a plan unveiled by US President Obama which aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions from US power stations by nearly a third within 15 years. Calling it "the biggest, most important step we have ever taken" in tackling climate change, President Obama has set out his stall in what his opponents call his ‘war on coal’ in favour of placing greater emphasis on wind, solar and other renewable energy sources. 

What is particularly interesting is how this plays over this side of the pond as we head towards the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris (COP21) in December. With Europe traditionally leading the way on tackling the issue of Climate Change, this bill could mark a real statement of intent by the US as we approach crunch time in December. How this impacts China’s position on coal versus their position on renewables – traditionally in favour of the former - could also be one to watch. If the economic case for renewables alongside a case for effective emissions control can be made successfully ahead of COP21, the Conference in Paris could yet go down as a watershed moment in tackling Climate Change.

However a lot of this of course depends on whether Obama can win the first battle – getting it through. With stiff opposition both in Congress, State departments, as well as big business who fear imminent job losses in the mining sector, the President needs to get the bill passed without it being watered down too much. Its impact could entirely depend on this.

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