The Biden administration begins:
How it will affect the environmental sector?
Mar, 2021

The United States offers the largest consumer and production markets on the planet. Therefore, U.S. political influence across the world is significant, and that’s why the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th president of the United States is important.

Biden of course served as U.S. vice president from 2009 to 2017 under Barack Obama, maintaining his political influence for an extended period of time. Executive actions since Joe Biden has taken office give some solid pointers of his political orientation. 

In particular, Biden’s actions on environmental issues demonstrate his deep commitment to the cause of tackling climate change, and how he will address related issues that the U.S., as well as the world, are facing. In addition, his eco-friendly policies are expected have a great influence on economies and industries worldwide.

President Joe Biden, immediately after taking office, signed an executive order to have the United States rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement¹, after the previous Trump administration withdrew from the accord. This symbolic and realistic action reflects the intention of the U.S. to take a leadership role in responding to climate change. The agreement, which was led by then-president Barack Obama, was adopted at the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in December 2015. It replaced the Kyoto Protocol² adopted in 1997 as a new climate agreement, to take effect from 2020. The Kyoto Protocol mandated that only industrialized countries cut their greenhouse gas emissions; however, under the Paris Climate Agreement, all 195 countries that signed the agreement must comply with the reduction goal.

 ▶ U.S. eco-friendly policies (based on Biden pledges) 

 Source | The Website of President Joe Biden and Foreign Press

The Biden Administration has pledged to build 400,000 electric vehicle charging stations across the U.S. by 2030, and to replace three million official state cars with eco-friendly vehicles (electric vehicles). Moreover, it restored the tax credit for electric vehicles to encourage auto buyers to consider making the switch to an electric vehicle. It is worth noting that the U.S. administration introduced the ‘Buy American’ Act, which requires that ‘at least 50% of the components of government-purchased vehicles must come from within the U.S.’ General Motors (GM), the largest American automaker, has pledged to end the sale of gasoline and diesel engine vehicles by 2035 to align with government policy.

It is not just about electric vehicles. A revolution is about to occur in the energy industry as well. Another ambitious goal of the Biden Administration is to achieve a carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035. To do so, the administration has announced plans to invest USD2 trillion (approximately 2,264 trillion Korean won) in building clean energy infrastructure over four years, and it has created a new agency—Advanced Research Projects Agency on Climate (ARPA-C)—aimed at achieving the 100% clean energy goal. This is like the American version of Korea’s Green New Deal.

These moves by the Biden Administration focus on creating new jobs as well as being eco-friendly. The series of eco-friendly policies are all linked to creating new jobs. The New York Times (NYT) predicted that “The Biden administration’s Green New Deal policies could lead to creating 1 million jobs.”

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is keeping pace with President Biden’s strengthening of environmental policies. Since 2010, listed companies in the U.S. have been making disclosures by arbitrarily calculating climate-related risks. However, in order to tackle climate change more actively, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has decided after a decade to make amendments to the Disclosure Requirements Related to Climate Change. According to a Reuters news report on February 24, Allison Herren Lee, acting chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), said, “We will reinforce disclosure requirements related to climate change risks and amend relevant evaluation criteria to make companies disclose the matter in a consistent and reliable manner.”  

 ▶ Eco-friendly ‘Solar’ energy that even the U.S. President pays attention to 

The Biden Administration is taking the lead in carbon reduction in the residential sector as well. According to the policy, the administration plans to upgrade four million existing buildings and two million homes to make them more energy efficient, eco-friendly facilities. Furthermore, the administration is expected to supply 1.5 million eco-friendly homes with low carbon emissions. Although fossil fuel subsidies will be repealed, it appears that the administration is going to fill the gap in power production brought about by the carbon emission reduction policy by installing 500 million solar panels and 60,000 wind turbines over the next five years. Thus, rapid growth of the solar industry is expected.

Source | Wood Mackenzie, Q4 2020

Q CELLS, with its excellent technologies and knowhow, is taking the lead in the PV market, achieving the number 1 ranking in the US residential solar market for nine straight quarters, and in the US commercial module market for four straight quarters. The company’s products have passed rigorous inhouse tests and its quality management process, whose standard is 2-3 times higher than that of international standards, meets or exceeds the high expectations of US consumers. In addition, Q CELLS became the world’s first PV company to pass TÜV Rheinland’s new quality-controlled PV panel certification. Based on these strengths, Q CELLS is expected to stand out in the global PV market, as well as in the U.S. 

The environmental policy of the Joe Biden administration has just begun. Numerous relevant actions will have a significant impact on the world, but what this policy suggests is clear. The U.S. government will accelerate transition from the era of fossil energy to eco-friendly, renewable energy, and, in due course, renewable energy producers will find tremendous opportunities. The energy industry will make a great leap forward backed by the solar and wind power sectors, and, in the auto industry, competition to secure EV market share will become fiercer. Amid this environment, companies who lead the industry will be reborn as those who will lead the eco-friendly era.

1. Paris Climate Agreement  |  A global framework set out in efforts to limit global warming to well below 2°C, and pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5°C, compared to pre-industrial levels

2. Kyoto Protocol  |  An international treaty that amended the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change to regulate and prevent global warming. Countries that signed the protocol should reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and tax and duty exemptions will be removed for those that fail to comply with their commitment.

#Energy Insight
#Joe Biden
#Paris Climate Agreement
#Biden pledges
#U.S.PV Market
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