Why is an agreement so complicated if everything is so clear? II
Miguel Ángel Velasco cmf
Claretian UN Team member
Going beyond COP25. Something about geopolitics
The USA opinion about the Paris Agreement depends on the governing administration in each moment. President Obama addressed a speech to the UN General Assembly he had with plenty of emotion and commitment to the 2030 Agenda; this included acceptance of the Paris Agreement. President Donald Trump decided, just after his election, to go out of the agreement. The reason he had for doing this was his links with the petrol and gas companies and the investment of these companies in that business area, especially regarding the “Shale Technic oil and gas” investment and the pipelines for transportation of these resources. The United States had an energy dependence on the Persian Gulf countries; this was a fundamental geostrategic problem. The “shale technic” development was the solution to answer this problem and also to increase fuel and gas exports dramatically. The solution for this strategic dependence was not only “shale technic” but an option for “green energy technic.” The Obama and Biden Administrations are looking for a balance between “shale technic” and “green energy technic” increasing the last ones. That is the way to give a correct solution for this strategic problem for the USA, but the Trump Administration seemed too close to the oil companies to think about “green energies” as the right solution.
After the USSR disintegration, Russia presented itself as a country with two primary goods to sell to the rest of the world: raw materials and weapons, sometimes cereals. Oil and fuel are the most significant exports by Russia; they represent 52% of his exports; we have seen these statistics in the first part of this article. Russia was, not long ago, the USSR, a mighty empire, but Russia had been before becoming USSR a great Empire made of European and Asian soul. Present day Russia doesn’t want to remain a secondary power in the world. Russia wants to be important in the international concert but only has a lever to do it: the enormous resources in gas and oil. Russian raw materials, especially oil and gas, are the currency of change and Russia’s pressure in the relationship with the European Union and China. Energy resources are a powerful item for international relationships. As an example, for this, the recent conflict with Ukraine, after the invasion of Crimea, including tensions with EU and OTAN; behind everything was Russian gas and some pipelines through Ukraine. But Europe has to consider carefully every decision with Russia because Europe depends strongly on Russian gas. Russia also knows the Chinese necessity of energy resources and uses them in his diplomat relationship. Russia is not interested in fuel or gas limitations determined by the Paris Agreement or the 2030 Agenda; they are his most potent weapon in international relationships and it wants to use them.
China is today the manufacturing factory of the world. I previously gave some data about how much energy China needs to play this role in the world. China will need more power in the coming years because it needs to increase its GDP, to maintain peace in the country. China produces oil and gas but mainly coal; it needs oil and gas pipeline networks and safe seaways to receive these resources. This is necessary for now but will be more necessary for the future if China wants to reduce its coal consumption. China is the world’s largest solar panels producer and one of the largest wind turbine producers; the green energy generation is increasing in China but is not enough for its power necessities. This country is convinced that coal burning reduction is necessary to obtain clean air in his cities, now totally polluted, but needs the energy to grow more and more. China has an important dilemma and it is necessary for it to find a balanced solution. China is currently the world’s largest coal consumer; when will it decide to stop being the first one?
The Arctic Ocean, now in the middle.
China is deploying the “Road and Belt” by land and sea; the objective is to create a route to reach Western Europe and connect South-East Asia. China needs these trade roads to achieve fuel and gas from the Middle East, Central Asia, and Russia but also needs these roads to sell his goods. There are different routes from China to Europe: by the sea, through Malacca Strait, and on land by following the old Silk Road. To avoid the Malacca Strait, if there is some conflict with the zone’s countries, China is looking for alternatives to deliver its goods to Europe, the North Route solution through the Arctic Ocean.
Russia is the nation with the most extensive coast in the Arctic Ocean. This part of the globe gives Russia an easy connection to Northern Europe and North America, but also this zone is plentiful in gas, oil, and “rare earth minerals” and also is a rich fishing area. Russia is creating and enlarging seaports and cities all along the northern border of the country, at the Arctic seaside.
China and Russia are very interested in open this maritime route from Asia-pacific to Northern Europe and America. There is only one problem: ice. But if this ice disappears, keeping the Arctic Ocean route free of ice will be an incredible commercial and strategic gift for China and Russia. Why are China and Russia not especially concerned about Earth warming? Perhaps they think it is not so bad to increase Earth warming a little bit, keeping in mind the opening up of the Arctic Ocean Route. This is merely a speculation, or perhaps not?
The Paris Climate Agreement future
Talking about the climate change solution, even if we put this matter inside the 2030 Agenda, it is essential to fulfil the Paris Agreement, globally and in each country. It is essential to give the peoples of the world warning messages about our disastrous earth’s future if we do nothing. It is also important to consider global international and diplomatic strategies to find the correct strategy and actions. We have to be realistic to defend our world for future generations. Universities, multinational companies, NGOs, and donner, are moving in the correct direction; also, one of the countries against helping the planet, the USA, is changing its strategy. There are possibilities for a fair agreement about CO2 and other environmental things in Glasgow.
Miguel Ángel Velasco cmf
Claretian UN Team member