China will see red over Biden’s green power play
ANALYSIS | Democrats’ carbon border adjustment tax, to shut out Paris violators, is aimed squarely at Xi Jinping
The global arms race in green technology is escalating fast. The US Democrats’ $2-trillion (about R34,5-trillion) blitz on clean energy is as much a bid for superpower supremacy as it is about climate change. It is aimed directly at China.
The words “Buy America” pepper the text of the Democratic Party platform. US presidential candidate Joe Biden’s plan may look like the earlier Green New Deal of America’s radical left, but is nothing of the sort. It is muscular and reeks of great power politics, almost a mirror image of Xi Jinping’s nationalist strategy documents. Should Biden achieve a clean sweep in November — probable, if not assured — the US will commit to net-zero emissions by 2050 and net-zero in the electricity sector by 2035. It will do so as a weapon of trade policy and to prevent the US losing its footing in the 21st-century market for clean technology.
The US and EU will again be aligned on the Paris Agreement, already an order of magnitude more achievable today after five years of galloping gains in technology. Both plan a carbon border adjustment tax to shut Paris violators out of their markets, policy that was deemed, revealingly, to be economic warfare by Chinese officials earlier this year...