Society & Community Sustainable Development Policies & Frameworks

New conservative climate plans in the US are neither conservative nor climate plans

Sustainable Development Policies & Frameworks

Summary

The newly designed climate change policy tries to reasonably address climate change but also does not offend any large bloc of the current conservative coalition, especially the financially supportive and fossil fuel blocs.

Perspectives and insights

  • The Conservatives' climate plan is probably meant to provide the media and disengaged voters with an “other side” on climate policy, without endorsing anything that might upset the fossil fuel companies with which the party is aligned.
  • The plan has a focus on the following: capture CO2 emissions, trees, clean-energy innovation and funding conservation, with a focus on plastic.
  • Notably, the plan includes nothing about solar and wind power, which replace coal and natural gas; nothing about electric vehicles, which replace gasoline vehicles; nothing about efficient buildings or heat pumps, which replace natural gas furnaces; nothing about hydrogen, which can help replace fossil fuels in industrial processes.
  • The plan carefully avoids endorsing policies that directly go after emissions, such as a carbon tax or pollution regulations. It avoids setting any particular targets for emission reductions.

Xoologue - a discussion between Xoo and Moo

Xoo: Even misplaced intentions can be sometimes a boon in disguise, Moo.

Moo: You’re referring to the Conservatives' plans for climate mitigations? If so, I’m wondering how you could consider them a boon.

Xoo: Well, wouldn’t you agree that all’s well that ends well?

Moo: Yes, but..

Xoo: Allow me to finish. The conservatives do not wish to hurt the fossil fuel interests. At the same time, they should be seen as doing something about climate change. So, what do they do? Pump in a lot of money into innovations that could make the use of fossil fuels less harmful to climate - innovations such as carbon capture technologies.

Moo: But isn’t that approach trying to extend the reign of fossil fuels?

Xoo: Perhaps, but whether or not you like it fossil fuels are here to stay a few more decades.

Moo: That may well be the case, but the Conservative approach could well stop the growth of renewable energy.

Xoo: In some cases, Moo, the government proposes, and the market disposes. As renewables reach a acceptable point of economics & reliability, they will start replacing fossil fuels, regardless of governments' plans.