Biden’s Administration and “Green Transition” Problems

 
PIIS013122270018602-3-1
DOI10.20542/0131-2227-2022-66-2-5-14
Publication type Article
Status Published
Authors
Occupation: Professor, Department of International Relations and Russian Foreign Policy
Affiliation: Saratov State University
Address: 83, Astrakhanskaya Str., Saratov, 410012, Russian Federation
Occupation: Professor, Department of International Relations and Russian Foreign Policy
Affiliation: Saratov State University
Address: 83, Astrakhanskaya Str., Saratov, 410012, Russian Federation.
Journal nameMirovaia ekonomika i mezhdunarodnye otnosheniia
EditionVolume 66 Issue 2
Pages5-14
Abstract

The article is devoted to the analysis of the J. Biden administration policy in relation to the “green transition”, i.e. the shift from the use of fossil fuels in the economy to renewable energy sources. In the context of the B. Obama and D. Trump administrations’ attitudes to the problem of climate change, the authors study achievements and failures of the current American leadership on this path. Particular attention is paid to the obstacles faced by the Biden administration. Among them are the inability to consistently finance environmental initiatives through Congress, inconsistency in the implementation of the “Green Course” within the country, the lack of readiness of key emission countries (China, India) to actively participate in achieving the Paris climate goals, etc. In addition, the contradictions within the Democratic Party on the issue of environmental policy between the “centrists” and supporters of the “Green New Deal” program are analyzed, which consist in different stances on the role of a state in the “Green Transit”, importance of social measures, main spheres for investments, the role of America in global transit, etc. It is also pointed to the fierce opposition to the administration's climate policy from the Republican Party. Its conservative faction is convinced that the scale, pace and role of a man in the crisis are artificially inflated by the Democrats, so there is no need to rush and resort to semi-military methods of centralized resource mobilization. Market forces, which simply must not be hindered, will cope much more successfully with the problem of the impact of warming on humans. The neoconservative group believes that the resources of humanity should be directed not to the fight against greenhouse emissions, but to economic development, which will allow the country and civilization to adapt to climate changes. It is concluded that there is a potential possibility of reaching a bipartisan consensus on climate change, but at this stage, under pressure from radical groups, this possibility seems unlikely. Therefore, in the coming years, it is questionable that the Biden administration will be able to actively promote its domestic climate agenda and new model of globalization.

Keywordsclimate change, “green transition”, Biden’s administration, Democratic Party, Republican Party, progressives, centrists, conservatives, neoconservatives.
Received14.02.2022
Publication date18.02.2022
Number of characters32327
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1 С приходом в начале 2021 г. демократа Дж. Байдена в Белый дом вопрос о климатических изменениях занял одно из центральных мест во внутренней и внешней политике США. Значимость экологической проблемы кандидат Дж. Байден настойчиво подчеркивал еще в ходе острейшей предвыборной кампании, в том числе на дебатах с Д. Трампом. Он говорил о ней как о “экзистенциональной угрозе” для человечества. Став же победителем, уже в своей инаугурационной речи Байден высказался весьма образно: “Крик о выживании исходит от самой планеты, крик, который не может быть более отчаянным или ясным” [1].
2 Многочисленными публикациями в американских медиа подчеркивается, что позиция Байдена базируется на научных исследованиях, которые говорят о необратимых процессах деградации окружающей среды под влиянием сжигания ископаемого топлива, о пройденной “точке невозврата”, об антропогенном характере этих изменений. Указывается также на то, что ежегодно США из-за этих процессов несут потери более чем на 100 млрд долл. Особенно тревожными рисуются климатические картины лета 2021 г. – ураганы, наводнения, засухи, пожары и т. п.
3 Климатические изменения и характер реакции на них стали одним из самых конфликтных направлений внутренней и внешней политики между демократами и республиканцами. Масштабы этого конфликта начали проявляться в период президентства Б. Обамы, который демонстрировал на данном направлении повышенную активность.
4 “Климатический план действий” Обамы включал в себя сохранение лесов, поощрение использования альтернативных видов топлива и расширение исследований в области изменения климата. В частности, был принят к реализации “План чистой энергии”, направленный на снижение выбросов на крупнейших источниках парниковых газов – электростанциях. Были также ужесточены стандарты автомобильных выбросов и электропотребления. Государство инвестировало десятки миллиардов долларов в разработку возобновляемых источников энергии. Администрация объявила национальными парками 260 млн акров территории дикой природы, что автоматически запрещало разработку там ископаемого топлива. Кроме того, президент Обама проявил “настоящее мужество”, остановив строительство трубопровода Keystone XL. Наконец, в 2015 г. было подписано Парижское климатическое соглашение [2].
5 Однако инициированный Б. Обамой процесс “зеленого транзита”, то есть перехода от использования в экономике ископаемого топлива к возобновляемым источникам энергии, внезапно оборвался с избранием республиканца Д. Трампа. Последний заявлял, что не верит в климатические угрозы, называл изменение климата “китайской мистификацией”, настоял на выходе из Парижского соглашения и делал все, чтобы поддержать индустрию ископаемого топлива.
6 Наблюдатели отмечали, что администрация Трампа предприняла около сотни активных мер, направленных на дерегулирование охраны окружающей среды. Среди них были, например, отмена “Климатического плана” Обамы (поскольку он “вреден и не нужен”), аннулирование “Плана чистой энергии”, снижение стандартов экономии топлива для автомобилей (с 5 до 1.5% в год), ослабление правил сбора или сжигания метана (который является более мощным парниковым газом, чем СО2) при добыче нефти и газа на федеральных землях, разрешение на разведку нефти и газа в национальных заповедниках, продвижения таких трубопроводных проектов, как Keystone XL, Dakota Access и Marcellus Shale, и т. д. [3].

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