India’s leaders — like many politicians — want to create jobs for their citizens. They also want to clean up the air so that fewer residents get cancer, asthma, and heart disease from air pollution. Furthermore, they want to cut trade deficits and help Indians buy more of their goods from India — including the energy that powers their homes and cars.
With all of that in mind, cleantech is the obvious path forward. Solar and wind energy create jobs, clean up the air, and cut dependence on limited fossils. Electric cars do the same. It is no surprise India’s energy minister has stated that they want India to be the first fully electric vehicle nation.
So, with all of that as well understood backdrop for thoughtful and informed national leaders, despite Donald Trump’s move hurting the US economy, national security, & humanity, don’t expect other countries to follow the USA’s backtracking and take a sledgehammer to their own potential for strong economic growth in the 21st century.
I was lucky to be recording a panel discussion in Abu Dhabi in January when cleantech expert Michael Liebreich, Chairman of the Advisory Board of Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), asked Piyush Goyal, India’s Minister of State with Independent Charge for Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines, what India would do if the USA pulled out of the Paris Agreement (in order to satisfy the conspiracy theories and financial interests of Donald Trump). Piyush delivered an epic response.
The summary is clear enough to anyone in the energy industry: clean energy and electric vehicles are going to be economic powerhouses of the 21st century. Well, they already are, but they will become much more so. Any country that wants to be at the economic forefront globally should be at the forefront of cleantech. To ignore the potential here is to shoot your own economy in the foot.
Furthermore, citizens already benefit and will increasingly benefit from low-cost renewable energy, electric transport, and energy efficiency. To try to slow a transition to these cleaner, cheaper, more humane options is either idiotic or based on corruption.
Piyush noted in the interview that he believes most (if not all) of the individual country climate commitments (INDCs) tied to the Paris Agreement are conservative and will actually be surpassed due to stunning and ongoing improvements and cost-competitiveness cleantech — renewable energy, electric cars, and energy efficiency. Well, we’ll see how far Donald Trump and his corrupt or misinformed staff can pull the USA backward before it comes to its senses. (And remember, Donald Trump did run on a campaign of going backwards … so his voters genuinely shouldn’t be surprised. But I guess they could be forgiven for not realizing that the rest of the world isn’t going to go backwards with us.)
Oil & Coal Donations To US Political Parties/Agendas
(Red = Republicans/Conservatives)
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