China is now worlds leader on all green technologies, solar, wind, green hydrogen, electric cars.
Interview with Erik Solheim, President of the Green Belt and Road Institute

This interview was conducted by Debbie Banks

 

Various summits are held in different countries to protect the environment, etc., and big decisions are made that are not implemented in the end. It is believed that these meetings are more promotional than solutions! What is your opinion?

We should shift focus from diplomacy to the political economy. The climate summits and many other global processes deliver painfully slow actions. The reason is that diplomatic games take the upper hand rather than real life solutions. Often the slow movers get to decide.

The hope is in the political economy. And here there is a lot of action. In most nations business is far ahead of politics. Microsoft has promised to be carbon neutral in 2020 and even to compensate for all emissions in the history of the company. Swedish IKEA is a leader in circular economy and Danish Ørsted leads on transformation from fossil to wind energy. One of the worlds largest paper and pulp companies, RGE, helped the Indonesian government reach zero deforestation last year. Chinese companies like Longi dominates the solar revolution and CATL electric batteries.

Fortunately the top leaders of the world act a lot more than many people realize. China is now worlds  leader on all green technologies, solar, wind, green hydrogen, electric cars. This is thanks to the green leadeship of President Xi. Joe Biden has launched massive green subsidies in the US through the Inflation Reduction Act. Prime minister Modi is launching green missions for India by the day and EU is leading Europe through the green new deal.

There is every reason to be a lot more optimistic than most environmentalists are. But this is thanks to political leadership and business. Diplomacy is underperforming.

Fighting for the environment has become a lifestyle. Some environmental activists like Greta Tenberg have also succeeded in this direction and have become famous. Isn't this a kind of abuse in the direction of ambition?

Every significant political movement I can think of started with young people who said we cannot live this way any longer, the world need to change.

Slavery was once seen as normal everywhere until some young people in London picked the fight and won. Threre are still people living in appaling conditions in parts of the wold, but slavery is illegal everywhere. The civil rights movement in the US in the 1960s  was run by people others called «the children». Martin Luther King and his fellow leaders were all so long. They transformed America for ever. The big Gandhian movement of Indian independence mobilized young people throughout the sub cntinent. In China the May 4 students movement is often  seen as when modern Chinese national upwaking was born.

So never underestimate the power of young people!!!

The anti-environmental actions of the United States always shock the world. They easily violate the agreements and according to the statistics of this country, together with China, they cause the most pollution, but international organizations remain silent. Isn't this a kind of anti-environmental imperialism?

China is now the wold leader in every green technology. 80% of all solar panels, 70% of the electic batteries and 60% of electic cars are made in China. 70 of all green high speed trains run on Chinese tracks and 98% of the electic buses on Chinese roads. So the West needs to get up early in the morning if we wish to keep up with China going green.

Fortunately President Biden has implemented major shifts in US green policies. There are big subsidies for green hydrogen, wind power, electric batteries and moe. Yes some of the policies are somewhat inward looking, but they will still work. So I belive we are at the point where, yes up to now it has been very slow in the US, but now it will gain speed.

Plastic pollution is suffocating the world. Why do the governments of developed countries treat the third world like their trash?

The arrogance of the west is sometimes unbearable. Fortunately Asian nations have started to say jo thanks. Around three years ago, China decided it will not accept any import of western trash. A number of Asian countries have followed. Sri Lanka even returned trash to the UK to make their point. This is a very good development as it will force western countries to take care of its own plastic and develop the technologies needed.

To solve the horrible plastics crisis we need to follow a three pronged strategy. Lets start by abandoning single use plastic we dont neeed, like cups, glasses and straws. India, EU and a number of African countries have done that. Second: We need to innovate more and make plastics from potatos, sugercanes or othe natur materials. A straw can be made from bamboo. Indians through thousands of years have use banana leaves as plates. Lately we need large scale recycling of the plastics which serves a purpose in society like keeping food longer, protecting our health institutions against bacteria or making our cars lighter. Governments should make business responsible for solving the mess it has created by introducing extended producer responsibilty for the plastic business.

COMMENT

W Wild Captured

How much have the officials fulfilled their promises?

11 months ago

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S Sandi Walters

China and America are the biggest producers of waste in the world This means the destruction of the environment

11 months ago

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F Fatima

What ?In the answers, he has supported America. Has Mr. Eric cooperated with them in lobbying?

11 months ago

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M Me and you !

This is a good interview. But I expected that he would condemn most of the destructive actions of China and the United States!

11 months ago

COMMENT


I INTET MILAN

Plastic pollution is suffocating the world.

11 months ago

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