The USA has supervised an expanding global order of fossil fuels since the end of World War II. The era is over. This era is over. Where coal has powered the British Empire and oil has powered the American century, the post-American world is now driven by renewable energy technologies. This new era begins with the European “Green Deal.”
Europe’s Green Deal marks the beginning of a new era of clean energy policy as the largest clean energy initiative in history. Despite its challenges, the EU strategy is a “large roadmap” to refurbish the entire economy in order to build the world’s first climate-neutral area by 2050.
The Green Economy: Europe + China
The Green Deal could also respond to the clean aspirations of China, beyond Europe. Europe is a very important market for accelerating Chinese cleantech innovation, with China’s renewable power growth slowing down and its use of fossil fuels increased.
Of note, China is the world’s largest cleantech fabricator and manufacturer, but it is also the biggest carbon emitter in the world. China, the biggest producer of solar panels, wind turbines and electric batteries in the world, remains, however, the leading clean energy investor.
moving towards Cleantech
Nonetheless, Europe needs China to move its policy on climate change. Over a quarter of global greenhouse gasses are generated by China — more than combined Europe and the United States. China, however, still needs Europe.
Green EU-China Partnerships have greater significance because they would deliver the economies of scale and scope that the world desperately needs. Others in Asia, Africa and Latin America could decarbonize together with China and Europe much cheaper.
The shift to cleantech in Europe fits also perfectly into the expanding Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) of China. BRI investments include 131 states that support two-thirds of the world’s population, the largest infrastructure project in history.
The End of the US Age
Rise and fall of empires. President Trump marks the end of the American age, as Eliot Cohen points out. The United States remains a superpower, but its rising strength is evident. The U.S. political system has been cannibalized by a growing elite, corrupted by unchecked corporate greed.
The US faces a real chance of social and political implosion in its own country. The market-driven company created a kind of feudalism in companies that essentially annulled the democracy. As Jeffrey Sachs points out, each American elections cycle now cost $8 trillion, or more. Big Oil, the military-industrial complex, and private health lobbies are regularly undermined.
making Eurasia green
The green economy lies beyond the crumbling world of fossil fuel. Global demand for energy is expected to increase by 50% by 2050, the bulk from Asia. New energy infrastructure investments will rise in the next two decades by $10.2 billion. Fortunately, the bulk–almost US$ 7.4 trillion–of that investment will be made in the production of renewable energy.