Theodore "Ted" Venners 温立斯

Peace and Prosperity of China and US

Tag: Lisa Fish

Trade Consequences on Tap If U.S. Exits Paris reported by the CHINA-US Club

International Trade Agreements are at the epicenter of any drastic change in policy, whether concerning politics, environment, climate change or energy. In the light of Donald Trump’s victory in the United States Presidential elections, and his stance of denial regarding climate change, there has been a natural increase in concern.

President-Elect Donald Trump’s suggestion to pull-out from the Paris Agreement and his critical view of the Trans Pacific Partnership might result in serious trade consequences if his proposals are converted into action over the course of the following months, once he is officially given the keys to the White House.
If indeed a back out becomes a reality, the reactions can range from cautionary to adverse, as explained by the Executive Director of the U.S. Energy Association, Mr. Barry Worthington:

“Their first reaction would be disbelief, but it certainly would have repercussions on other aspects of the United States-European relationship. It would be very much more difficult to get a favorable E.U.-U.S. trade agreement, for example. They would hold hostage a trade agreement if we renege on the Paris Agreement…we have diplomatic interests, we have national security interests, we have military interests, we have economic interests, we have trade interests with Europe. All of those are going to be affected if we pull out of the Paris Agreement.”

As for the effect of the Paris Agreement decision on the trade deals with neighbour Mexico, Mr. Worthington expressed no apparent cause for concern:

“Mexico is, for the first time, appearing more and more open for foreign investment. And those investment decisions are made by the U.S. private sector, not the U.S. government. Mexico, in the energy sector particularly, they need our capital, they need our technology, they need our know-how, and I don’t think that the Mexican government will allow political rhetoric to get in the way of doing what’s best for Mexico.”

Concerning the nature of United States-China trade relationship, Mr. Worthington suggests the PEOTUS Donald Trump’s comments will not bring any grave effect, rather a bolstering of partnership, as his remarks were aimed at the previous administration and not China:

“If we convene here in four years’ time, I think you’re going to find that there’s a better relationship between China and the United States in four years than what there is now, and a relationship that benefits both parties.”

With countries keeping their opinions close to their chests, it remains to be seen how the members involved in the World Energy Council will react to the state of the Paris Agreement, and the effect their reactions will have on international trade for the United States.

A Quick Look at the Key Indicator of Greenhouse Gas Emissions reported by China-US Club

The following chart describes the key indicator of emission of Greenhouse gases worldwide. It shows the emission of carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and few other greenhouse gases from 1990 to 2010.

The emissions are described in million metric tons of CO2e carbon dioxide equivalents.

Figure 1: Global Gas Emissions by Gas, 1990 to 2010

Figure 2: Worldwide global gas emissions by sector, 1990-2010

Figure 3: Worldwide greenhouse emission by region, 1990-2010

Data Source

The above data of different indicators of greenhouse gas emission has been provided by World Research Institute’s CAIT Database. You can access it online at: CAIT gathered the above data from different organizations like the International Energy Agency, the U.S Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, and Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN.

Key Points

  1. In figure 1, methane, nitrous oxide and HFCs, PFCs and SF6 remained almost constant from 1990 to 2000. However, the CO2 emission increased consistently during the same period. Although former greenhouse gases saw minor increment with an increase of 15% in HFCs emission and 9% in nitrous oxide from 2000 to 2010, the CO2 emission increased rather significantly. In just 20 years, carbon dioxide net emission increased by almost 42%.
  2. The overall greenhouse gases emission increased from roughly 33 billion metric tons to almost 46-47 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e).Figure 2 and 3 describe the growth of greenhouse gas emissions by sector and by region respectively. While the energy sectors worldwide saw an increase by 71% in emissions, followed by agriculture sector with 13% increment. Figure 3 indicates that some regions of the world are emitting more carbon dioxide than the rest. For example Asia and United States saw maximum surge in the greenhouse gas emissions followed by Europe. Other regions’ emission such as Africa, Latin America, Canada remained significantly lesser.

Jack Ma Partners with Bill Gates to Buy into US $1 Billion Zero-Energy Fund Business reported by China-US Club

Jack Ma and Bill Gates, the two visionaries of the present generation have taken an important step into energy business innovation. Both the technology giants, along with 18 other businesses have joined hands to create a Breakthrough Energy Ventures fund to support the next generation of zero-energy businesses.

The fund is specifically created to help growth-level startups and companies across the world that foster innovation in the supply of energy, food, transportation, products and services sectors to find, create solutions that are cost-effective and also have zero-emission in the production and supply.

“Anything that leads to cheap, clean, reliable energy we’re open-minded to,” Gates told online media
The co-founder of technology giant, Microsoft, Bill Gates admitted that investing in energy was more difficult than investing in the IT sector.

“People think you can just put US$50 million in and wait two years and then you know what you got. In this energy space, that’s not true at all, said Bill Gates.”

The Breakthrough Energy Ventures fund – with its core objective to encourage entrepreneurs solve the energy problems across varied industries – consists of the members of Breakthrough Energy Coalition. The fund will be invested in companies over a span of 20 years, offering long-term financial support and to help them build products across sectors – with energy generation and consumption – that do not release harmful gases linked to global warming.

Bill Gates announced the fund’s initiative during the Paris global event on national measures to limit and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, last year. The fund consists of around 28 rich individual and families with a total networth of over $170 billion dollars, including founders and co-founders of some of the world’s largest corporations. Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson, Mukesh Ambani, Julian Robertson and few other billionaires are a part of it.

Jack Ma was quoted as saying,

“This fund’s establishment amalgamates innovation, scientific knowledge and talents needed to change the energy market. When it comes to energy, some people would say energy projects cannot meet consumers’ demand, profit and environment protection objectives all at the same time. But we can, and we will realise it.”

Energy and Climate so interconnected… Reported by the CHINA-US Club

President-Elect Donald Trump has stirred a pandemonium in the World Energy Council by suggesting a withdrawal of the United States from the Paris Agreement.  With the interconnection shared by energy and climate, such drastic measures, even merely in the form of a plan on paper without concrete action, can be a cause for concern on the international front.

The United States ability to generate energy can be directly affected by the changes in sea level, temperature and the frequency of occurrences of climate-based unrest. But, at the same time, the manner and extent of energy consumption contributes to climate change, with greenhouse gas emissions due to the use of fossil fuels accounting for 84% in the United States.

And though the President-elect Trump has softened his stance and has been open to review and suggestions, a possible backing out can have adverse effects, invoking apprehension from other members of the World Energy Council, particularly the Europeans, as explained to E&E News by Barry Worthington, Executive Director of the United States Energy Association:

“Particularly Europeans because they’re more concerned over climate issues than people from other continents, they would be very surprised because, again, they don’t understand as clearly as we do the notion that you have one administration that can do one thing, Congress can do something else, the next administration, the next Congress can do something completely — completely different.”

Mr. Worthington added that if the U.S. does pullback from the Paris Agreement, the Europeans will deem it to be a decision of the United States as a government, and not a decision from the current administration:

“I will say they see the Paris Agreement as a commitment of the United States. They don’t see the Paris Agreement as a commitment of the Obama administration. And again, it’s just their nature of looking at our set of governance versus what they’re familiar with. So, if there’s a pullback, they would be very disappointed because, again, they would see it as a lack of commitment on the United States of America, not a lack of commitment from one administration versus the other.”

The outcome of such an unfulfillment and annulment of the Paris Agreement will not bode well for the United States, on both the Environmental and Energy fronts, and might raise genuine concerns for the furthering of Climate Protection efforts undertaken collectively by the World Energy Council, given the United States quintessential role in the world theatre of Climate Change.

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