How will the 2020 US election change our climate?

Biden’s influence on environmental policy? A Clean Energy Revolution

Before starting today’s topic, I would like to first state that political analysis is definitely not my field, thus the followings only represent my personal views. 

The main points of this discussion are, the differences between Trump and Biden’s policy on tackling “energy” and “climate”, and what we can expect after Biden takes the stage.


This year is my first year following the US election.

As Trevor Noah said, the biggest success of Trump is that he attracts the public’s interest in politics.

前言

在开启今天的话题之前,我要首先声明,时事分析并不是我的领域,以下言论仅代表个人观点。

本文的主要讨论点在于特朗普和拜登对于“能源”和“气候”的不同政策,以及我们可以在拜登上台后期待些什么样的改变

今年是我第一年关注美国大选。

正如同脱口秀主持人Trevor Noah说的,特朗普最大的成功就是吸引了无数普通人对政治的兴趣

特朗普平时的举动,自成一套比卡戴珊姐妹还成功的真人秀。就连特朗普的舞姿,也能引发抖音上浪潮般的效仿。

不管如何,像是追剧一样,我看完了这场大选。

Trump himself, it is quite literally, a media himself. He is even more successful than the Kardashians. Even Trump’s random dance can spark a trend in Tiktok.

No matter what, like watching my favorite TV show, I watched the election.

到今天为止,很多人都已经知道了这场选举的结果。拜登上台,成为了美国的第46任总统,打破特朗普续任2期的美梦。

As of today, many people already know the results of this election. Biden is coming to power and becoming the 46th president of the United States, kicking Trump out of the white house and breaking Trump’s dream of a second term.

(更新时间11月10号,2020;来源:谷歌) 
(Updated on November 10th, 2020; Source: Google)

纽约的街头,人们在车里狂按喇叭,游行欢呼。

On the streets of New York, people honked in their cars, paraded in-crowd.

但是,在拜登的支持者们开始欢呼之前,每个人都需要意识到一点,那就是:

“和结果同样重要的,是得出结果的过程。”

在我们看到740万人选择了把特朗普踢出白宫的同时,

也有超过700万人把选票投给了特朗普以及特朗普所支持的一切。

But before Biden’s supporters start celebrating, everyone should realize that “The process of this election is just as important as the result.”

When we are witnessing 74 million people choosing to kick Donald Trump out of the white house, there are also over 70 million people voted for him and everything he said or stands for.

“We can not and should not ignore that millions voted for Trump.”

“Meaning that either they actively support him or at the very least comfortable enough with it.”

正如一篇报道中所提到的:「选举的早期结果没有揭示赢家,但确认了国家分裂的持续性。」

As mentioned in a previous news report: “The early results of the election did not find a winner, but it confirmed the reality of this country’s division.”

Move the arrow to compare. (source: https://www.eia.gov/state/maps.php)

如果我们近距离的比较这两张图表,我们会发现,左边红色的区域(特朗普胜选的州)和右边煤炭厂的分布有很大的重合。

很明显的,在煤炭能源储量丰富的几个州,特朗普的支持率都居高不下。

If we compare these two graphs closely, we will find that the red area on the left (states voted for Trump) and the distribution of coal plants on the right have obvious overlap. 

In those states, which have existing coal production, people tend to support Trump.

这个和特朗普对煤炭产业公开的支持不无关系。

This is related to the previous promise from Trump for the coal industry.

(“We’re going to put our miners back to work,” Mr. Trump promised.)

复兴煤炭产业,增加煤炭工人岗位,是特朗普一大卖点。

The revitalization of the coal industry and increasing job opportunities were Trump’s selling points.

2017年上台后特朗普就着手为化石能源的发展“松绑”。他放松了对煤炭资源开采的限制,发布了加快对化石能源的开发新政策。

After coming to power in 2017, Trump relaxed the regulations on the fossil fuel industry. The limitation on coal plants emission has been loosened. More proposals have been promoted to “open the door for coal plants”.

但是煤炭行业的萎缩,是众多因素下,一个必然的趋势。

However, the shrinkage of the coal industry is an inevitable trend due to many factors.

除了大量的自动化导致对工人需求的减少之外,哥伦比亚大学的一篇报道指出:“美国49%的煤炭用量的降低是基于天然气价格的下降,18%是由于新能源的增长。” (Columbia SIPA, April 2017)

In addition to the reduction in the workforce due to automation, a previous report by Columbia University pointed out: 

“49 percent of the decline in domestic US coal consumption was due to the drop in natural gas prices… 19% percent was due to growth in renewable energy.” (Columbia SIPA, April 2017)

在这个大趋势下,政策的帮助,效果并不明显。

Under this overall downhill trend, the effect of Trump’s effort is limited.

尽管特朗普声称他在“帮助矿工获得工作机会”,实际上他通过减少对企业的管控,更多的帮助了企业主的利益,真正增加的就业机会,寥寥无几。

Also, although Trump claimed he was “helping miners get job opportunities”. In fact, he has more likely helped the interests of companies than those of the real workers, by loosening up the regulations without promoting safety measurements or worker’s welfare.


有人嘲笑,中国有五年计划,美国有“四年计划” – 每四年换一任总统,来推翻前一任的决策。

People make fun of US politics. They say that China has a five-year plan, and the United States has a “four-year plan”- changing the president every four years to overthrow the previous decision.

特朗普在任职期间,废除了奥巴马时期对新能源的激励措施,撤销了气候行动计划和清洁水法案,并退出了旨在控制温室气体的巴黎协定。

Trump abolished the incentives for new energy sources from the Obama-era, called off the Climate Action Plan and the Clean Water Act, and withdrew the US from the Paris Agreement.

和特朗普不同,拜登被称为“气候变化的先驱” “climate change pioneer” 。

这次的新总统,拜登选择了坚定地为清洁能源站台

This time, the new president Biden is called a “climate change pioneer”, who chose to firmly stand by clean energy.

他承诺会将气候变化纳入美国外交政策和国家安全战略,并宣布在第一天就职的时候,就会向联合国申请重新回归巴黎协定,让美国重归国际气候治理队列。

He promised to incorporate climate change policies into the US national strategy and announced that on his Day One he would submit a notice to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change that the US intends to re-enter the Paris agreement.

我们可以预期,在未来的四年中,他极有可能会大力推动清洁能源行业,减少对化石燃料的支持,设定新的减排要求。

We can expect that in the next four years, he is very likely to promote the clean energy industry, reduce support for fossil fuels, and set new carbon emission reduction plans.

拜登最主要的几大计划,其中就包括了Biden’s Plan,号召「清洁能源革命」,旨在要在2050年之前达到净零碳排放目标。

His most noticeable plan – Biden’s plan, is calling for a “clean energy revolution”, and it is aiming for achieving a 100% clean energy economy and reaching net-zero emissions by 2050.

对化石能源下手,就必然会引起企业和工人的反弹

拜登在他的Biden’s Plan中,特意强调这个方案会保障煤矿工人权益补偿企业的支出协助社区应对因为关闭煤矿、煤电厂而陷入的经济困境,并帮助失业工人“再就业”。

With the strategy pointing at the fossil fuel industry, it inevitably causes a backlash from the enterprises and workers. 

In his Biden’s plan, he deliberately stressed that this plan would protect the rights of coal miners, compensate enterprises’ expenditures, assist communities in coping with the closure of coal plants, and help unemployed workers to get re-employed.

Biden这次推行的这个计划主要是基于之前的“Green New Deal”(绿色新政)的框架上,由政府推动经济转型,在促进可持续能源发展的同时,创建大量的绿色岗位来刺激就业。和1930年代的“罗斯福新政”相似,这场改革推动年轻人回到工作岗位,来挽救不断低迷的经济。

The plan that Biden promoted this time is based on the framework of the previous “Green New Deal” – a government leading transformation strategy towards a green economy. While promoting sustainable energy development, it can also create many green jobs. Similar to the “New Deal” from the 1930s, this reform promotes people to return to work so to save the slowing-down economy.

同时他计划将COVID新冠危机转变为一场机会,来振兴美国的能源部门,同时刺激经济发展。

Biden believes that it is crucial to turn the COVID-19 crisis into an opportunity, to revitalize the US energy sector and stimulate its economic development.


结语:

Time杂志称 “2020 is the defining year”, 2020是决定性的一年。

Time Magazine is calling 2020 the defining year.

中国在此同时也提出了新基建计划,发展高速铁路5G技术,在以信息为主导下,发展绿色信息经济。同时有预测认为,在拜登执政期间,中国与奥巴马政府之间的气候变化协议可能会恢复

This year, China also proposed a “new infrastructure plan” to develop high-speed railways and 5G technology, which will promote a green information economy. It is also predicted that the climate change agreement between China and the Obama administration may be restored under Biden’s administration.

在疫情过后,什么才是我们的回归之路?

After the pandemic, what will be our recovery path?


Resources:

https://joebiden.com/climate-plan/

http://www.hydropower.org.cn/showNewsDetail.asp?nsId=29277

https://www.eia.gov/state/maps.php

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aw6RsUhw1Q8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LyC855KdBKo

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/trumps-rally-dance-tiktok-challenge-ymca/

Time magazine

and tons of the News that I read these days.

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