What will be the climate damage with Trump?
With Trump as the new president, the world is worrying about the climate damage, he will cause.
Still we hear an increasingly interviews with relativizations.
Jan Rotmans, professor transition science and international authority in the field of transition and sustainability, gave his reaction.
Trump as a climate denier can not turn or stop the world wide transition towards clean energy. At most he can slow down end delay the transition. Trump may re-invest in shale oil and gas. But these are unstable markets with volatile gas and oil prices which will not be profitable in time.
This is also a global phenomenon:
- the coal market is globally discredited
- the oil market suffers from low oil prices
- as well as the gas market which is affiliated to oil
Moreover,in the financial markets are considering fossil fuels increasingly as an investment risk. And we see that all big countries are striving towards energy autonomy.
- For example, China has already opted for sustainable energy, is already the largest producer of wind energy in the world and the second-largest in solar power.
- Europe also focuses on renewable energy, with Germany as the absolute leader.
Overall, the transition towards renewables is a structural phenomenon that has been ongoing for decades, and is driven by economic, geopolitical and financial powers, which all point toward clean energy.
Trump may disrupt the transition but not reverse it
Trump may disrupt the transition towards renewables, but he can not reverse it. The revolution to clean energy is irreversible. However, if he continues to prioritize coal, oil and gas, it will mean an increase in CO2 emissions in the US by 5-10% over the next 4-8 years. That’s a significant increase, but it will be completely wiped out if China does accelerated away from coal.
And still, we rely on the Paris climate targets.
Rotmans conclusion is that four or eight years Trump is an extremely inopportune for the time to come. It can lead to a break in global CO2 emissions reductions.
The consequences in terms of additional CO2 concentration and the rising temperature will still be limited. Even Donald Trump can not turn or stop, at most slow down and delay the global transition to clean energy.
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