It was one of Donald Trump’s last acts. Since Wednesday morning, November 4, the United States has left the Paris climate agreement. As it came into effect on November 4, 2016, Washington had to wait three years before being able to notify a withdrawal, with an additional one-year notice. Joe Biden reacted on Twitter on Wednesday evening: “Today, the Trump administration formally left the Paris climate agreement. And in exactly 77 days, the Biden administration will join him “, writes the Democratic candidate.
Today, the Trump Administration officially left the Paris Climate Agreement. And in exactly 77 days, a Biden Admini… https://t.co/7dT22UeN7h
The scope of this act, which would be decided upon when Mr. Biden takes office, is symbolically major: it marks the return of the United States to multilateral forums and of America to the global community of destiny. Candidate Biden has made no secret of his intention to make the climate a tool of his foreign and trade policy, especially vis-à-vis China.
First, let us note that the United States comes out better armed than one might think in the Trump years. To be sure, the Republican president has defeated a whole series of regulations, tried to revive coal and sell licenses to exploit oil off the coasts of the United States and in Alaska. But in reality, the market has played its role: the coal crisis, replaced by gas, cheaper and less polluting, has allowed the country to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, while oil investments are in the Limbo, the Covid-19 crisis requires.
For example, the US Energy Information Agency predicts a 10% drop in CO emissions for 20202. Since the peak of 2007, just before the great financial crisis, they will have fallen by around 23% in 2020 (14% if we stop the counter in 2019).
Technologically, the United States has also embarked on the race for renewable energies, which now weigh as much as coal in their electricity production. In the past ten years, wind power has tripled (8.5% of electricity), while solar power has quintupled in five years (2.4%); hydraulics represent 7.5% of the total.
Americans are also taking advantage of the digital switchover to accelerate their industrial transformation: the Tesla company is the undisputed star of the electric automobile; it is worth more than 400 billion dollars (over 340 billion euros) on the stock market, nine times General Motors, fifty times Renault.
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