MOSCOW, July 28 (RIA Novosti) – The United States is sending billions of dollars’ worth of dirty fuel abroad, despite the declared shift toward greener forms of energy, The Associated Press reported.
“The United States appears to be making more progress on global warming than it actually is, because it shifts some of the pollution — and the burden for cleaning it up — onto another country's balance sheet,” AP said Monday.
The United States commands the largest recoverable coal reserves in the world. According to an AP study of US Energy Department data, the nation saw coal consumption sink by 195 million tons over the past six years, with roughly 20 percent of the unspent fossil fuel exported to other countries, including ones with much laxer anti-pollution laws.
Now US energy companies are seeking to double their coal exports, despite the community saying that dirty fuel should better stay in the ground. In 2012, as much as 9 percent of coal shipments came from the United States.
In a push to glam up its global energy policy, US President Barack Obama’s administration has placed curbs on the US financing of coal-burning plants oversees that don’t control their greenhouse gas emissions. No such restrictions have been placed on coal exporters.
At a time when the United States appears to be weaning itself of dirty fuels, a large portion of its unwanted coal is going to Germany, a country seemingly at the forefront of Europe’s climate fight. A total of five new coal-powered plants have been built here since 2008 as its nuclear ones are gradually being phased out in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster. In 2013, this U-turn bumped Germany’s carbon dioxide emissions by 1.2 percent.
"This is a classic case of political greenwashing," AP cited Dirk Jansen, a spokesman for environmental protection agency BUND, as saying.
"Obama pretties up his own climate balance, but it doesn't help the global climate at all if Obama's carbon dioxide is coming out of chimneys in Germany,” Jansen stressed.
No one in the Obama administration has yet calculated how much of its carbon pollution the United States is shipping overseas. As of now, it only accounts for coal burned inside the country, while more of this dirty fuel is sent elsewhere – not far enough to prevent climate change on this planet.
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The British experience can be instructive for Russia. London retains its British Commonwealth if it wants to use this as a foundation for integration in the future. That’s a valuable lesson for Russian experts who are calling for an end to “ineffective” associations like the CIS, the Russian World and others.