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President Donald Trump’s Climate Policies Can Shift US Jobs to China, say Experts

Experts suggest that Trump's Climate policies will shift US jobs to China

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Donald Trump at Press Conference- Image Courtesy- Wikimedia
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Environmentalists are reeling when they envisage what impact on climate change President-elect Donald Trump might have.

“A gut punch to the planet” is how environmental group Friends of the Earth described his upset victory.

But despite candidate Trump’s promises to reopen coal mines, pull out of the Paris climate treaty and roll back environmental regulations, there’s only so much the president-elect can do once he begins governing next year.

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Energy markets are shifting away from fossil fuels, according to economists, and the market for renewable energy is growing steadily. So, ironically, for all of Trump’s vows to create new American jobs, if he keeps his promises on environmental issues, he could wind up shipping even more U.S. jobs to China.

Managing the unavoidable

“The election of Donald Trump could be devastating to our climate and our future,” said Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune. Trump is the only world leader “to reject the scientific consensus that climate change is real and mankind is the cause,” he added.

Earth’s average temperature has already risen about 1 degree Celsius since pre-industrial times. Global warming of 2 degrees Celsius is the point at which at which humankind can “avoid the unmanageable and manage the unavoidable” impacts of climate change, says University of California-Berkeley public policy professor Dan Kammen.

At the current rate of warming, temperatures will hit the 2-degrees-warmer benchmark before 2050.

At a time when aggressive emissions cuts are needed, Trump’s proposals point in the opposite direction.

FILE - Machines dig for brown coal in front of a smoking power plant near the city of Grevenbroich in Germany.
Machines dig for brown coal in front of a smoking power plant near the city of Grevenbroich in Germany. VOA

FILE – Machines dig for brown coal in front of a smoking power plant near the city of Grevenbroich in Germany.

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Cheaper than gas?

In recent years, there has been “an alignment of the climate movement and the marketplace that is unprecedented,” Brune noted.

The United States has become the world’s largest producer of natural gas. As the price of natural gas has fallen, it has helped push coal out of the power generation market.

“Coal is not coming back,” Brune said.

That’s not just his opinion. The president of the largest electric utility in West Virginia, the nation’s number-two coal producer, agrees.

“You just can’t go with new coal [plants] at this point in time,” Appalachian Power President Charles Patton told the state’s Energy Summit last October, according to the Charleston Gazette-Mail. “It is just not economically feasible to do so.”

But as far as natural gas prices have fallen, the costs of renewable energy have plummeted even further. Wind power is 60 percent cheaper than it was just seven years ago. Large-scale solar is 80 percent cheaper. In many cases, wind and solar power are now cheaper than natural gas.

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Last year, the United States added more power-generating capacity from wind than from any other source. Natural gas was second, followed by solar. The largest share of wind power came from Texas, where members of Congress are vocal opponents of climate-change legislation.

“Texas is a leader in renewable energy even though it hasn’t necessarily been a leader in supporting climate action … because it’s good for the economy,” said World Resources Institute President Andrew Steer.

Power companies around the world are responding to dropping prices for renewables. Dubai recently announced it is building a large-scale solar plant that will produce electricity for less than a new natural gas-fired plant would – in a country that produces natural gas, Kammen notes.

FILE - A photovoltaic solar park situated on the outskirts of the coastal town of Lamberts Bay, South Africa.
A photovoltaic solar park situated on the outskirts of the coastal town of Lamberts Bay, South Africa. VOA

FILE – A photovoltaic solar park situated on the outskirts of the coastal town of Lamberts Bay, South Africa.

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‘Complete folly’

The growth opportunities for American companies and American jobs are in renewables, Kammen says, and if Trump makes rebuilding the coal industry his top priority, that would “fly in the face of economic opportunity.”

“It would be complete folly to do anything but accelerate these plans” to expand the renewable energy industry, he adds.

Energy demand in the industrialized world is only expected to grow 18 percent by 2040, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. For the developing world, that figure is 71 percent.

These countries want renewables, Kammen says. And they want American-made renewables.

Kammen is a U.S. State Department science envoy for the Middle East and Africa. He says he has met with more than 20 national delegations at the latest round of climate talks in Morocco. “These are all countries that have clean-energy targets of 50 percent or more by 2030. And they all want to buy U.S.-made technology.”

“If these solar, wind and efficiency (products) are not available from the U.S., they will go elsewhere,” he adds.

Chinese, Taiwanese and Korean companies dominate the solar-panel industry. A Chinese company took over the top of the wind-turbine market last year, pushing out a U.S. company.

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No slackening

The next big opportunity is in energy storage, Kammen says. The U.S. government has made major investments in storage technology research.

“If we shut down our interest here,” he says, “we are going to choose to give those jobs to China.”

While Trump once said on Twitter that China invented the concept of global warming to undermine US manufacturing, “China is taking quite serious action on climate change right now,” says the World Resources Institute’s Andrew Steer. With pollution choking Chinese cities, Beijing “believes it is very much in its own interest to do so. We see no reason or evidence to expect any slackening of that,” even with Trump’s threats to withdraw from the Paris climate accord.

Furthermore, he adds, “It’s certainly true that China would benefit competitively if the United States falls behind.” (VOA)

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Trump’s Leadership: The First Errors and Achievements

One of the main reasons explaining Trump's unpopularity was reviews in mass media, according to the head of communications of White House

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Donald Trump
Trump has not yet managed to implement the promised reforms of the healthcare system and tax legislation.

Nicole Lewis

It has already been a year since Donald Trump was authorized the Presidency of the US.
During the first year of the country’s leadership, Trump has 100% proven that he was one of the most controversial presidents in the US history.

We should admit that perhaps no other leader of the United States has caught the keen
interest of the worldwide public. It is definitely so. Based upon the intense debate in social
networks, some thought that Trump was almost a general who would lead the battle against the breach of justice, while others argued that impeachment was just around the corner.

Still, others argued that the billionaire president just wanted to have some fun, therefore,
decided to run for the presidency. After keeping an eye on Donald Trump for more than a
year, we can sum up the first results of his presidency – on November, 8; it is exactly one
year after the inauguration of the 45th US president. So, let’s see how the first presidential
year was for Mr. Trump.

Victory or a Disaster?

Nearly 60 percent of the US population is disapproving behavior, actions, and decisions of
Donald Trump, as stated at essay birdie. There are many “yes” and “no” about his policy;
however, everything is subjective. In this post, we will talk about what Donald Trump has
achieved and what areas he has not succeeded in over 365 days his presidency.

Economic Policy – Victory

Economic policy and the growth of the stock market are indeed the main achievements of
Trump’s domestic policies. Another important change is the elimination of many legal
restrictions for businesses, which has contributed to the development of the country’s
economy. Considering his decisions, it is a true embodiment of the slogan of Trump’s campaign “Let’s Make America Great again!”

Healthcare Reform – Failure

Trump has not yet managed to implement the promised reforms of the healthcare system and tax legislation. There is the law that he aimed to start to implement almost the first day after taking his post – the idea has not been funded by the Congress.

 

Donald Trump.
Donald Trump. (Wikimedia Commons)

Behavior in a Political Scene – Failure

The current US president sometimes oversteps the mark. For example, Donald Trump threw paper towels to hurricane victims in Puerto Rico, pushed the Prime Minister of Montenegro, and constantly curses the media.

Foreign Policy Is in Crosshairs

It’s not so easy with foreign policy. The German Foreign Ministry Representative Maria
Adebar called the decisions of the US president unpredictable, and many foreign leaders
would agree with the diplomat. Constant suspicions in relations with Russia is only one point in the long list of issues.

His uncertainty in politics is related not only to the foreign policy. This can be referred to the healthcare sector as well. His positions on health, tax reform, and financial regulation are highly attractive to super-rich people. However, it is quite difficult to understand how Trump intends to improve the position of the middle class, which is the popular majority of the population.

Diplomatic Failures May Result in the Loss of an Important Ally

Only yesterday Trump promised to make the world better, and today he has already faced the disagreement of Iran and Australia to follow the US orders considering the president not very competent and experienced. And this statement seems to be true if one analyze his behavior while having a telephone call with the Australian Prime Minister.

Trump was very impulsive and hung up, which may lead to unwanted consequences, if to be more exact, there is a risk of worsening of relations with the closest US ally. Moreover,
before hanging up, he said that the conversation had been the worst one lately.

It is known that Malcolm Turnbull reminded about the negotiations with Obama and the
decision to provide 1250 refugees. The refusal of Trump to keep the word of the previous
president may lead to the loss of Australia as an important ally, which seems to be unwise.

One of the main reasons explaining Trump's unpopularity was reviews in mass media, according to the head of communications of White House.
One of the main reasons explaining Trump’s unpopularity was reviews in mass media, according to the head of communications of White House. VOA

Trump is the “Winner” in the Negative Reports

According to the research of T. Patterson, the professor from Harvard, D.Trump has bypassed all previous presidents showing the most negative results. Compared to Obama, who had three times more positive coverage, Trump has 70% negative and only 30% positive.

The crucial event that played an important role in these results was the order of the president to attack a Syrian airbase. Trump admitted that he this action was his answer to the Assad use of chemicals. Was he authorized to react like this? As a result, six people died, among which there were Russians, moreover, there were a lot of wounded. It is not surprising that after this order, the BBC coverage became 70 % negative.

Trump Presidency: Trust His Promises or Not to Trust: That is the Question

One of the main reasons explaining Trump’s unpopularity was reviews in mass media, according to the head of communications of White House. As the administration states, an independent study showed that the reports of Trump in 95% of cases were negative. However, the dislike of the media and Trump is mutual. Mentions of Trump in the posts like “Enemies of the American people” are not the biggest disaster in the career of the US president.

According to the political consultant, there are plenty of fake news in NBC News, CBS News, ABC, and CNN, but in any case seems that the president won’t be able to meet the
expectations of his voters. A successful businessman turned out to be not a very promising
leader able to normalize relations between the US and other countries, vice versa, his actions may result in the worsening of the situation.

Nicole Lewis is an acclaimed writer with https://www.facebook.com/edubirdie/. Her works have been published in the leading newspapers and magazines.