United States of America President, Barack Obama recently spoke about how climate change action in the US could effect in the UK, putting much needed pressure on the Government to reinstate its ‘greenest ever’ commitments.
Sustainability consultant Gareth Kane believes that these implications of Barack Obama’s climate change action plan could potentially act as a spur for the UK’s green economy with Prime Minister David Cameron heavily influenced by the US.
“If Obama continues to make a strong case for climate action, there will be increasing pressure on David Cameron to follow suit. The PM is an Atlanticist and he will feel peer pressure from the US more strongly than that from Europe,” he said.
Obama’s plan will mainly focus on energy within the US, transport and climate resilience policies; whereas in the UK action is largely driven from policies agreed in Europe, Kane pointed out.
“On the face of it, there will be little direct impact … on the other hand, there are likely to be a number of indirect influences,” he noted.
“For starters, the US shale gas revolution has already driven down the price of coal which in turn led to a rise in coal consumption and carbon emissions in the UK last year.”
“The Tyndall Centre has estimated that roughly half the carbon savings in the US were offset by coal exports, a rebound effect that makes gas as a carbon-cutting option a lot less attractive.”
Kane added that the UK is entering a “very complex shifting landscape of supply and demand for fossil fuels” as it tentatively explores the feasibility of shale gas path,
“This makes predicting the impact of Obama’s plans on international carbon emissions almost impossible to call,” he said.
Recipro sourced this article from Edie.net