Members of the US Democratic party have launched a proposal for funding a federal programme aimed at tackling the US economy’s impact on climate change through a massive electric vehicle infrastructure development.
Rather cleverly, this is called the Green New Deal to echo that of Franklin Roosevelt’s depression-era New Deal and its impact on the US transportation infrastructure of the time.
The Green New Deal has been proposed by congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and senator Ed Markey and proposes a series of targets to radically reduce emissions within 10 years “through clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources.”
The Green New Deal aims to “achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions through a fair and just transition for all communities and workers”, an ambition far bolder than that set by IMO, which is to reduce total CO2 emissions from shipping by at least 50% by 2050.
The Green New Deal posits wind power and renewable energy as the source and “replacing non-essential individual means of transport with high-quality and modern mass transit.”
The Green New Deal mimics the New Deal by focusing on infrastructure development across the US, its proposal that “it will be necessary to electrify everything else, including transport.”
The move to renewable electricity seems to assume replacing the hydrocarbon economy, and with it the support infrastructure of inland waterway tank barges and the coastal tanker fleet.
However, the Green New Deal does not go into detail on how this would impact the huge US inland waterway fleet or coastal shipping, although electric tankers seem to be on the verge of reality.
Are politicians supportive enough of the transitions that are being demanded of the tanker industry? Voice your opinion at the Asian Tanker Conference in Singapore on 26 and 27 February.