Donald Trump’s election as US president cast a deep shadow over this year’s UN climate summit in Marrakesh, where there was a feeling of a huge blow dealt to global efforts to address climate change. But China is likely to emerge a clear winner — both in the clean energy revolution and on the global stage of climate change politics.
It was a strange mix of moods at the Marrakesh climate talks today, following Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential election.
Some were defiant. Others despaired. And some were going about their business as if nothing had happened.
This is odd given that president-elect Trump has threatened to “cancel” the Paris climate agreement, which saw 195 nations agree to phase out the use of fossil fuels — an agreement that the Marrakesh talks are now trying to put into action.
“You spent more on this event than you do on renewables,” claimed a protester’s banner outside the Shard, the UK’s tallest building, last Friday.
The message was aimed at participants in the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) – some of the world’s largest oil and gas companies including Saudi Aramco, Shell, BP, Total, Italy’s Eni, Norway’s Statoil and Spain’s Repsol. Seven chief executives assembled in the Shard to pledge a total investment of $1bn over 10 years “to develop and accelerate the commercial deployment of innovative low emissions technologies”.
The German government last week professed confidence in reaching its aim of 1mn electric cars on the road by 2020. Should this actually happen, Germany could significantly over achieve the 2020 EU CO2 emissions target for new cars. But there are serious doubts over whether it can actually be reached.
Rising renewables generation across Europe has made it increasingly difficult for conventional natural gas and coal-fired power plants to make a profit. Countries have responded to the problem in different ways, with some introducing capacity mechanisms to support conventional plants, and others slowing the rate at which renewables capacity is installed.
We look at the situation across Europe to see where renewables have the most impact on the power market and investment in new plants.