At a recent CEPEC event, S&P Global Ratings, Sund Energy and Chatham House agreed that multilateral climate and environmental initiatives, as well as U.S. state-level clean energy drives, will likely continue regardless of the U.S.’ Paris Agreement withdrawal.
S&P Global Ratings’ Michael Wilkins, Head of Environmental & Climate Risk Research, stated: “The withdrawal from Paris, and by extension the repeal of the Clean Power Plan, represents America undercutting its own potential to lead the global development charge of new carbon reduction technologies. But it should not affect the movement globally.”
“Furthermore, if the U.S. government’s intention is to revive the ailing coal sector and boost employment, the withdrawal seems misguided – especially given that around five times more job opportunities are now created in renewables sectors than in coal.”
The panel concluded that the withdrawal does not spell the end for climate initiatives either at the international or U.S. state level. But as the U.S. steps back from multilateral initiatives – at least, temporarily – the panel speculated that China, along with Europe and the Vulnerable Twenty Group (V20) could be the new driving forces of climate reduction.
Kirsty Hamilton, Associate Fellow, Chatham House, discussed the implications outside of U.S. borders: “There is a view that Trump may be ‘blip’ on the longer-term trend to low carbon energy and renewables. However, the axis driving change on climate is already shifting toward China, together with Europe with ongoing international pressure from newer political groups of countries such as the Vulnerable Twenty Group (V20), who are all looking to ratchet climate reduction commitments. The isolation of the U.S. at the mid-year G20 summit on climate is a case in point.”
Wilkins added: “The East is already taking a leading position. China, for instance, is expected to invest an estimated $4 trillion in renewables before 2040. And S&P Global Ratings has found that almost a third of all green finance issuances are now originating in the Chinese market.”
The event was covered by Energy Voice.