November 11, 2020
Joe Biden intends to reverse Trump’s “dangerous and destructive climate policies” (Joe’s words), and whatever delusions Trump might still entertain on Twitter, Biden is the President Elect of the United States.
Under his stewardship the United States will re-join the Paris Climate Accords “on day one” of the new Administration, work to “seek higher ambition from nations across the world” (Joe again), and “follow the science” to reduce emissions while protecting precious resources. So climate change mitigation is back, front and centre …and it’s about time too.
Over three turbulent years Donald Trump systematically cut a swathe through a raft of environmental protection measures: enabling mining companies to dump waste in local rivers, removing prohibitions on methane gas emissions and even abolishing prohibitions on (endangered) species of birds being shot out of the sky and their lifeless bodies made into ashtrays for sale in tourist shops (I’m not making that up). So whatever you might think of Donald Trump’s chutzpah and mutton headed resolution, he was demonstrably bad for the environment.
The stage is finally set for the United States to resume its role in climate change mitigation across the globe, and the totemic significance of Biden’s intention to reaffirm the Paris Climate Accords “on day one” simply can’t be ignored.
The US will now be freed up to move to zero carbon emissions from power plants by 2035 (instead of actively promoting fossil fuel dependence under Trump); freed up to dramatically expand solar and wind energy production and to stop endangered birds being made into ashtrays.
So, how are Joe Biden and climate change the perfect partners for each other? Well, the new Biden Administration will also look to build 60,000 new wind turbines, new community solar infrastructure and 500 Million more solar panels across the country within the next five years: and the obligations imposed by (and freely accepted) under the Paris Climate Accords are the backbone of those commitments.
The Biden Administration’s Green Deal (www.joebiden.com/climate-plan/) is budgeted to cost an eye watering $3 Trillion.
But take a look again at the elements of that package, and in particular the central part played by solar and wind power generation: those are positive and eye catching strategies in contrast to (negative if necessary) emission controls.
On that front India is already a world leader in the production of renewable resource energy: by September this year 36.7% of its capacity was sourced renewably and the subcontinent was also the first in the world to create a Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. It is a net exporter of wind turbine and solar technology to the United States and, especially in its Northern States, India has the perfect climate to power those technologies as well. By 2022 Prime Minister Modi’s Government is planning to install 40 GW capacity of new solar panels on rooftops throughout the country and intends to generate 57% of its total energy needs from renewable sources by 2027 (www.sustainabledevelopment.un.org): 17% in excess of its Paris Climate Accord commitment.
So this much we can certainly be sure of: as the world turns slowly back onto its axis, Joe Biden won’t find a better environmental partner than India.
Red Ribbon Asset Management (www.redribbon.co) has placed the subcontinent at the heart of its investment strategies since the company was founded more than a decade ago. Drawing on an unrivalled knowledge of local markets with an expert team of more than a hundred advisers working in India’s economic hotspots, the Red Ribbon Private Equity Fund (www. redribbon.gi) offers unique opportunities to share in this potential.
Red Ribbon Asset Management is the founder of Eco Hotels, the world’s first carbon neutral mid-market hotel brand, offering “green hospitality” as part of a progressive roll out across India which intended to take full advantage of current market opportunities on the subcontinent.
I don’t know how history will finally judge the last three and three quarter years of US foreign and domestic policy, but I do welcome the change signalled last week by the President Elect for a new approach to climate change mitigation.
And, of course, that approach isn’t really that new after all. Most nations across the world have maintained their commitment to the Paris Climate Accords since 2016 and will, I’m sure, welcome the US back into the fold.
Nowhere more than India…