26 December 2021 - 16:46
  • News Code: 450890
US and Transition from Fossil to Clean Energies

TEHRAN (Shana) -- US President Joe Biden has stressed that ratcheting up pressure on energy-producing countries to increase fossil fuel production while urging countries to commit to the energy transition phenomenon is not inconsistent. At the G20 summit, meanwhile, he called on the group's largest energy-producing countries with excess capacity to increase production to ensure a stronger global economy.

US President Joe Biden has stressed that ratcheting up pressure on energy-producing countries to increase fossil fuel production while urging countries to commit to the energy transition phenomenon is not inconsistent. At the G20 summit, meanwhile, he called on the group's largest energy-producing countries with excess capacity to increase production to ensure a stronger global economy. Such remarks by the President of the United States mean the White House not only does not intend to reduce the production of fossil fuels, but also considers it effective for the global economic growth. In the meantime, two basic questions arise, answers to which may largely reflect the prospective situation. First is to now whether increasing energy production is contrary to environmental goals. And second, should oil-rich countries pay for clean energy production for developing countries? Answering these questions may largely determine the prospective conditions of global markets and the extent of inclination towards renewable energy at the global level.

US Contradiction

The US, along with China, Russia, India, and the European Union, is one of the world’s largest emitters of carbon dioxide. The US has the highest GHG emissions per capita, but has a relatively contradictory policy toward this phenomenon. On the one hand, the US has announced that it intends to mitigate carbon dioxide emissions by at least 50 percent of its annual level by 2030 and reach zero carbon emissions by 2050. To achieve this, the US must electrify half of its new vehicles by 2030. However, the issue has its own complexities. Because, despite the fact that US renewable energy sources have been increasing in recent years, more than 80% of the US energy is still supplied by fossil fuels. At the same time, the plan to reduce the use of fossil fuels has been opposed by some US lawmakers who are concerned about its impact on the coal industry. Similar conditions are seen with the oil and gas industry, as the closure of oil and gas production is facing very serious opposition in the US.

As a result, President Biden's assertion that increasing energy production does not run counter to environmental goals has a political dimension rather than a scientific one. It should be kept in mind that the issue of energy production inside the United States has become one of the driving forces of the US economy. Given the vast challenges the US has faced over recent years in the economic sphere, the energy sales have a huge impact on the country's economic and political equations. As in many states, the outcome of a crucial election depends on the energy policies of presidential candidates and their parties.

In addition to domestic issues, the US sees energy as a viable opportunity to maintain and expand its influence around the world. For instance, US energy policy toward Europe and the pressure it exerts on Russia, or its efforts to impose sanctions on major energy producers such as Iran and Venezuela, all indicate that the US is determined to expand its global markets. It is noteworthy that the US, after years of export bans, has reconsidered its energy strategy and intends to act as an active player in this field. However, despite the political gestures of US officials at international summits, the country will not back down from its level of production or its export policy in the field of energy.

US Tasks to Climate Changes

Undoubtedly, there is a direct relationship between fossil energy production and climate change such as GHG emissions and global warming. In fact, the main source of global warming is GHG emissions and the main cause of emissions is energy consumption. Therefore, reducing energy consumption leads to reduced emissions. However, moving toward the Kyoto Protocol targets to reduce emissions could also slow down economic growth. In other words, economic development and energy consumption are interdependent because with increasing energy consumption, if productivity increases, economic development increases, too. On the other hand, increasing efficiency, which leads to energy savings, is the result of economic development. Therefore, examining the relationship between carbon dioxide emissions, energy consumption and economic growth has always been one of the most important challenges in different countries.

To that effect, countries can be divided under two categories of energy producers and consumers, each of which has a significant share in GHG emissions. However, in answer to the question, "Should oil-rich countries pay for clean energy production for developing countries?" it is noteworthy that many oil-producing countries sell this energy raw to consumer countries. In fact, the main consumers of oil and gas are industrialized countries, not producing countries. Hence, most of the environmental damage has been caused to the world by consuming countries, not producing countries. That is why industrialized countries such as the US, China, Russia, India and European countries are at the top of the list of GHG producers.

As a result, if countries are to act as pioneers in tackling climate change, it is the oil and gas consuming countries that must do so. Of course, some countries, which are both large producers and consumers, are exempt from this rule. In fact, countries such as Russia and the US, which are leading consumers, have impact on climate change while being producers, should also be at the forefront of the process of paying for clean energy production. Thus, President Biden's statement that “there is no contradiction between increasing fossil fuel production and the transition to renewable energy” is honestly making the US one of the leading countries in tackling global warming. Because this country, as a major producer and consumer of energy in the world, has been one of the most important factors in GHG emissions and global warming. Therefore, the US must show the highest level of commitment to GHG emission policies and fossil energy use.

By Shuaib Bahman

Courtesy of Iran Petroleum

News Code 450890

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