The USA election has brought climate change to the forefront of its global dialogue, with the Democrats release of their platform document at the national party convention this week.
According to the policy, solar, IoT, smart buildings, modern electricity grids, and improved public transport are central factors in “building a clean energy economy”.
Supported by a number of speeches to the party faithful, the Democrats’ paper detailed its climate change policies, leaving no doubt about the party’s determination to follow President Obama’s lead over the past eight years.
“Climate change is an urgent threat and a defining challenge of our time,” it reads in part.
“15 of the 16 hottest years on record have occurred this century… 2016 is on track to break global temperature records once more.”
Since climate science has gained traction over the last 20 years, it is customary for clean energy advocates to urge the constituency to accept any hardship – especially economic – as a sacrifice to sustainability.
Today, the Democrats’ policy recognises the impact innovative technology made in both real, as well as social and cultural terms.
“Democrats reject the notion that we have to choose between protecting our planet and creating good-paying jobs,” their policy determines, “We can and we will do both.”
Pledging to slash carbon pollution at home – “we believe America must be running on clean energy by mid-century” – the US Democrats have declared themselves the world’s pollution police, leading “the fight against climate change around the world.”
They aim to end fracking, in addition to taking global measures to ensure security, food and water to society’s most vulnerable – those subject to worst case environmental injustice.
In a move bound to create consternation amongst the lobbyists of Capitol Hill, the Democrats made a promise this week to eliminate special tax breaks for ‘dirty’ industry energy sectors, while boosting the same for the clean energy sector.
Still, President Obama’s track record is a demonstration of the challenges ahead if Democrat nominee Hilary Clinton is successful in November.
Coal, oil and gas remain central to the USA’s economy and government business, and Washington’s strategy of new standards represent incremental change.
It seems climate change is the theme of the Democrats’ week with President Obama announcing yet another plan to regulate a ‘dirty’ sector.
Washington will make a move to curb aviation pollution by triggering a ruling under the Clean Air Act by the Environmental Protection Agency. They have already determined that aircraft fuel waste poses a hazard to human health.
If it goes ahead, it will form part of President Obama’s commitment to reduce greenhouse emissions made in Paris last year.