By Sonny Atumah
President Donald Trump’s administration was off in a flying start last week for an extended period to set fires burning againfor fossil fuels.His administration has espoused an energy policy that maximises the use of resources. The policy increases fossil fuels production to make America less dependent on foreign oil, thus reversing the United States COP 22 agreement on climate change.
In his electioneering Trump had threatened to cancel the Paris climate agreement. The Trump energy Policy dubbed ‘’America First Energy Plan’’ is a fulfillment of his war chest, and believed to be an epitome of the wellbeing of the average American. The document released minutes after taking the oath of office as President on January 20, signalises energy as an essential part of American life and a staple of the world economy.
According to the Policy, “Sound energy policy begins with the recognition that we have vast untapped domestic energy reserves right here in America. The Trump administration will embrace the shale oil and gas revolution to bring jobs and prosperity to millions of Americans. We must take advantage of the estimated US$50 trillion in untapped shale, oil and natural gas reserves, especially those on federal lands that the American people own. We will use the revenues from energy production to rebuild our roads, schools, bridges and public infrastructure. Less expensive energy will be a big boost to American agriculture, as well.”
Experts believe that Trump in his orchestrated America First policy is using energy to stimulate an economy that was on the verge of ceding its number one status to China. The plan would boost domestic energy production which was in America’s national security to achieve energy independence from the OPEC cartel and any nations hostile to America’s interest. At the same time, America will work with their Gulf allies to develop a positive energy relationship as part of their anti-terrorism strategy.
Trump’s total confidence in fossil fuels rekindles dependent nations hope to gear up for a rehashof the seal by global leaders onclimate change at the twenty-second Conference of Parties, COP 22 at the Moroccan city of Marrakech in November 2016.Over 195 nations assembled with their instruments of approval legally bound to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius.It was indeed against predicted timelines of 2050-2100 to develop alternative or renewableenergy sources.
There have been international climate negotiations to reduce carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases linked to climate change by reducing fossil fuels demands.The Group of 7, G7 industrialised nations summit in Bavaria, Germany on June 8, 2015 pledged to rid the global economy of fossil fuels by the end of the 21st century.
The United States as the world’s leading economy is the second biggest greenhouse gas polluters after China. The first three heavy polluters according to Global Carbon Atlas 2013 are China (27.6 percent), United States (14.5 percent) and India (6.7 percent).They had all refused the Lima 2014 legal framework that would obligate them to pay for CO2 emissions. The United States refused to sign the 1997 Kyoto Protocol or ratify any treaty to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
The story had a strange twist when the Obama administration the Group of 20, G20 nations met in China inSeptember 2016, and came up with what was termed genuine commitments for ratifications of COP21 on climate change. He pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 26-28 percent by 2025 compared to 2005 levels. It was also to reduce the nation’s greenhouse emissions by at least 80 percent below 2005 levels by 2050.
The commitment had three ways the U.S. to decarbonize the economy by 2050. They were to switch to a low carbon energy system, to pull carbon dioxide out of the air through both natural methods such as reforestation and carbon dioxide removal technologies and to reduce non-carbon emissions such as methane and potent pollutant from refrigeration.
The ratification meant uneasiness for dependent nations on the future of fossil fuels. Powerful effects that made these nations to cave in to persuasions or threats. Theindustrialised nations commenced the reduction of fossil fuel consumption which for a long time had been the world’s largest source of electricity. Because petroleum is from a nonrenewable source, and its supply limited, scientists are looking for clean, renewable sources of energy to power machines of the future.
Although observers predicted that the Paris Agreementwas a double bind considering scrambles for global fossil fuels andthe posture of discouraging usage it was not envisaged that COP 22 would be called to question three months after approval.Pundits doubted the joint declaration having the bite considering the global oil scramble by super majors from countries including America that had supported decreased petroleum usage.
From the energy policy the Trump’sadministrationis committed to eliminating harmful and unnecessary policies such as the Climate Plan and the Waters of the U.S. rule. Lifting the restrictions will greatly help American workers, increase wages by more than US$30 billion over the next seven years. It said that sound energy policy begins with the recognition that they have vast untapped domestic energy reserves in America. Trump is committed to clean coal technology and to revive America’s coal industry.
Are there consequences of Trump’s fossil fuels productionboost on global economies? Up until now countries were switching over to natural gas preferred to coaland with low carbon dioxide emissions. It meant coal as a fossil fuel was being condemned to geological history for countries that are richly endowed. The Trumps’senergy policy is another window of opportunity to many oil nations to make a mound out of. They are to liberate themselves from the quagmire of crude oil sales and use value added linkages of petroleum to diversify their economies.With oil glut and revenues dwindling,these countries in dire straitsshould reduce the massive loss ofnatural economic valuables.
This would enhance economic growth and development and reduce tensions in volatile regions. The policy recognizing the need to collaborate with allies to develop a positive energy relationship as part of their anti-terrorism strategy is in line with the recent developments at the just concluded 2017 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
At the Forum world leaders must have got the message of what some described as making a bigger pie rather than giving others a bigger slice. The level of discontentment is rising according to the Winnie Byanyima of Oxfam International whose cry for more equality summed it all that eight men have the same wealth as 3.6 billion of the world’s poorest people. She called for a rebalance of the unjust economy. Her position received an encore as the IMF Chief Christine Lagardein recognising the need for wealth redistribution said it was an opportune time to put in place policies that would help the vulnerable.