Game Over for Oil? Welcome to the Matrix Revolution Pt.3

Tactics Institute presents the third and final part of the report “Game Over for Oil? Welcome to the Matrix Revolution”, which is simultaneously published in Germany by the Stiftung Energie & Klimaschutz (Foundation for Energy & Climate Protection) of EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG, one of the largest energy supply companies in Germany and Europe.

The three articles address the global energy landscape, the changing geopolitics and the vision of zero-carbon, resource-efficient, new economy that will be powered by renewable energy systems.      

The report first appeared on the leading Italian news platform Formiche.net will be published also on https://www.2duerighe.com/

Read part one of the report here and part two here.

 

“When the Opportunity Appears, Don’t Pull the Shades”

To succeed in the fight against the climate and environmental crises, the hollow liturgy of the COPs must end. As things stand, no Climate Change Conference can hope for positive outcomes unless the developed and emerging economies commit to a new framework of international relations based on mutual commitments and “competitive cooperation”. 

Climate Change Runs Much Faster Than the Political Decision-Making Process

Much like the EU precedent, setting the national emissions reduction target should be based on fairness, solidarity, cost-effectiveness, and environmental integrity. Concretely, any Global Warming Power (GWP) and/or carbon tax should be pondered and adjusted to the economic and social conditions of every single country, and ideally based on a compound account values of variables that may include carbon intensity, per capita carbon emissions, existence, and management of natural carbon sinks. Common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR), should become the effective cornerstone of the system.

With climate change running much faster than the political decision-making process, the international community needs to adopt fast-tracked negotiation paths and ask the largest economies to commit to binding, measurable targets and objectives, mainstreaming decarbonisation and sustainability into all main sectoral policies. The price of inaction is much greater than the cost of action. In this sense, positive signals have come last week from the Petersberg Climate Dialogue. During this years’ session of the German-led informal intergovernmental exchange on climate policy, which took place virtually on 27-28 March, the tone was set by the plans for a “green recovery” agenda for the post-COVID economy. In her speech, the German Chancellor and her Minister for Environment called for climate-friendly coronavirus response and a green recovery, while affirming support for the ambitious objective of the EU Green New Deal.

Faced with the existential threat of climate change, the leaders of the largest economies of the planet, are called to embrace responsibility for pushing ahead with negotiations, setting binding targets and turning “the crisis of this pandemic into an opportunity to rebuild our economies differently and make them more resilient, so that we also leave a better place for our children”, in the words of the President of the EU Commission von der Leyen.

In concrete terms, on April 29 EU Energy Ministers reaffirmed their intention to place renewables and the Green Deal at the heart of the post-COVID recovery plan, linked to a revised proposal for the Multiannual Financial Framework. Energy will have a major role to play. I expect similar signals will come when the 13th National People's Congress (NPC) of China, the country's top legislature, will open its third annual session in Beijing on May 22.

The EU Decouples Energy Consumption from GDP

Europe has already accomplished much. Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the EU are at 9% of the global total, with per capita emissions below those of China and the US. This has been possible thanks to the progressive decoupling of energy consumption from GDP and the greater role played by renewables, nuclear power, and low-carbon energy sources in the energy mix. The EU needs now to show the way on climate change, building a platform for the global decarbonisation starting to strengthen the existing EU-China Partnership, in collaboration with the G20 Group and the World Trade Organization. The fundamental pillars and preconditions for such an infrastructure to exist and are solid. While the Green Deal has been tailored to the European context, it can still offer a framework for coordinated policies with other developed economies such as the US, Canada, and Japan.

At the same time, the Green New Deal is also consistent with the Chinese policies addressing the energy transition and the establishment of an “ecological civilisation”, as well as with the plan for a Global Energy Interconnection presented by President XI, to support the electrification of the global economy and optimise the use of renewables worldwide. The EU-China Climate Summit in Leipzig this coming September will be the opportunity to assess the feasibility of a common platform aimed at establishing forms of mutual and “competitive cooperation” in order to decarbonise the global economy.

 

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