While the global development of green energy and industries is an ongoing issue, the war launched by Russia in Ukraine adds a deeper geopolitical dimension to it. In this turn, the “Anglo-American axis”, comprising the United Kingdom and the United States, could once again lead the way.
Take the UK as an example. To promote green energy and green industry, and reduce its carbon emissions, a series of seemingly radical policies have been introduced over the past two years. The UK government published the “Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution” in November 2020, proposing the development of offshore wind energy, in addition to promoting the development of low carbon hydrogen and providing a advanced nuclear energy, accelerating the transition to zero-emission vehicles, among others. It also includes action plans for reducing 230 million tonnes of carbon emissions in the transportation and construction industries over the next decade.
In the guidance document Energy White Paper: Powering Our Net Zero Future published in December 2020, the UK has planned the transformation of the energy system and is working to achieve the goal of ne-zero carbon emissions in the energy system by 2050. On the conventional energy front, it announced the phasing out of existing coal-fired power plants by October 2024. Focusing on the areas of energy, industry, transport, construction and others, it aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 68% by 2030. (ETS) on January 1, 2021, setting a cap on total greenhouse gas emissions for industrial and manufacturing companies, with the aim of achieving a net-zero emissions target by 2050. In March 2021, he took the lead of the G7 countries to launch the decarbon strategy industrial nation, supporting the development of low-carbon technologies and improving industrial competitiveness. The plan is to drastically reduce carbon dioxide emissions from manufacturing companies by 2030 and build the world’s first net-zero emissions industrial zone by 2040.
In public transport, there is the National Bus Strategy of March 2021, and a green transformation plan for the bus industry is proposed. In July of the same year, the transport decarbonization plan was announced, further integrating low-carbon transformation in transport such as railways, buses and aviation, and promoting the electrification of public transport. and private. Currently, there are over 600,000 plug-in electric vehicles in the UK, and production of new energy vehicles exceeds a fifth of total car production. In the country’s new car sales in February 2022, electric vehicle sales accounted for 17.7% of the market, the market share of plug-in hybrid vehicle sales is 7.9%. Adding traditional hybrid vehicles, electric vehicles account for more than a third of sales.
On April 8, 2022, the UK government announced annual targets for the development of new energy vehicles. It is stipulated that by 2024, all-electric vehicles will have to occupy 22% of the market. This proportion increases to 52% in 2028 and 80% in 2030. The country’s authority hopes that these mandatory policies will force automakers to increase the share of electric vehicles in sales each year by 2035, when all models will have to achieve zero emissions. It will then ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030 and hybrid cars from 2035, according to plans unveiled two years ago.
The world’s largest consumer of automobiles, the United States has also proposed the development plan for new energy vehicles. It should be noted that the forces of commodification represented by Tesla have played a strong and spontaneous role in the development of new energy vehicles in the United States. Based on this, the support policies put in place by the US government will have greater policy flexibility. After the Biden administration came to power, the negative attitude of the Trump administration towards the new energy industry changed and an agreement reverting to the Paris Agreement was signed. To meet Paris Agreement goals, the US government plans to increase sales of new energy vehicles (including plug-in hybrid, pure electric and fuel cell vehicles) to 40-50% by 2030 The government and industry will provide subsidies for the purchase of these vehicles, improve the charging network, invest in research and development and grant subsidies for the production of the vehicles and their spare parts. On March 31, 2021, the Biden administration proposed to invest $174 billion to support the development of the US electric vehicle market, which involves improving the US domestic industrial chain. It aims to build 500,000 charging stations, electrify school buses, public transportation and federal fleets by 2030. In President Biden’s $1.75 trillion stimulus bill passed the House of Representatives that year, there was a subsidy mechanism for new energy vehicles and additional subsidies. for mainstream US automakers.
Major U.S. domestic and international automakers, United Auto Workers, Alliance for Automotive Innovation, the California government, the U.S. Climate Alliance, and other industry and government agencies issued a joint statement and support the Biden administration to accelerate the development of new energy vehicle industry, to strengthen the United States’ leadership in this area. On the basis of commodification, the strong support of the United States for the new energy vehicle industry will greatly promote the development of this particular market in the country.
The ANBOUND researchers believe that the UK and US strategies and sets of policies for the development of new energy vehicles are not just about industry and green development. Instead, they have deep influence and meaning. Chan Kung, founder of ANBOUND, pointed out that the political signals given by the Anglo-American axis represent the shape of things to come. The development of new energy vehicles is not a purely industrial or technological issue. It is obvious that such a development means that alternative ways of using energy have emerged, and this energy revolution has its geopolitical implications, where the United Kingdom and the United States will again abandon their dependence on Russian energy. If the future industrial system and the consumer market no longer depend on oil, then Russia, which is highly dependent on oil resources economically, will be greatly affected economically.
It should be pointed out that due to the complexity and extension of the transportation system, this revolutionary energy substitution policy will also lead to the rapid development of other industries, as well as related technological development and the manufacture of new products. It will not take long for a new manufacturing system to emerge in the countries and societies of the Anglo-American axis.
Chan Kung pointed out that it should also be noted that from a geopolitical perspective, this new large-scale energy policy is also a measure of geopolitical risk and pressure sharing. In the past, countries and governments had to deal with problems caused by geopolitical risks, such as rising oil prices and inflation. These, in turn, could lead to political instability if the government in power fails to address them properly. However, the rapid development of industries such as new energy vehicles has radically changed the situation. The pressure on the government quickly shifted to the private sector, industry and society. To improve the quality of life, people spend money to buy new energy vehicles. This is equivalent to ordinary people spending money to solve the geopolitical risks of countries and governments in the Anglo-American axis. Once this model and market system is formed, the Anglo-American axis countries will not only eliminate the pressure of Russia’s energy weaponization, but they can also benefit from it, or even form a new system. capable of removing their reliance on manufacturing. Third World countries and China. From this ideal logic, the development of new energy vehicles can serve multiple purposes for countries like the United Kingdom and the United States.
It should be noted that unlike China, the “electric vehicles” or “new energy vehicles” mentioned in the accompanying policies of the countries of the Anglo-American axis do not have a specific type (rechargeable hybrid type, pure electric , fuel cell vehicle, etc.). This is actually a wise decision in public policy design. The technological part is a technical question and not a question of public policy. Separating public policy from technical matters not only separates the functions of politics and the market, but also effectively reduces the influence of interest groups.