The United States of America has been leading the effort to fight climate change that is threatening the very existence of human beings on the planet earth. For a long time, scientists had warned about the imminent dangers of global warming directly caused by greenhouse gases. However, little attention was paid to these warnings as the focus was to promote industrialization in the developed economies. For a long time, the United States was the world’s leading emitter of greenhouse gases known to cause global warming. Currently, China has surpassed the United States, and it is the world’s leading emitter of these gases. The United States comes second. The wrath of nature has been evident not only in the United States but also in other parts of the world. Devastating cyclones, floods, extreme cases of drought, and submerging coastlines are some of the consequences of climate change. A time has come when the global society has to come together and appreciate that our nature must be protected.
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Efforts must be made to ensure that human activities do not pose any significant threat to the environment. A time has come when the use of fossil fuel must be replaced with renewable sources which are clean and environmentally friendly. As the United States leads the war against the emission of greenhouse gases, it must provide alternative sources of energy. Office of the Special Envoy for Climate Change, under the United States Department of States, must take advantage of the influence of the United States at the global level to champion the use of renewable energy as a way of protecting the environment. Different sources of energy will be necessary in different parts of the world, depending on the environmental factors. The following are the most reliable alternative energy sources that should be promoted in different parts of the world.
Solar energy is one of the most reliable sources of renewable energy that can be used in any part of the world. European countries such as United Kingdom, Germany, Poland, and Spain have demonstrated that solar power can be a reliable source of energy for domestic and industrial use. If solar energy is achieving success in Europe that sometimes experiences extreme winter conditions, it can register even better performance in the Middle East, Africa, and other parts of Asia, where sunshine is common throughout the year. Some companies are even coming up with engines that can be driven using sunlight.
The Office of the Special Envoy for Climate Change can work closely with governmental agencies from other countries and private entities to promote the production and use of solar energy, especially in emerging economies. China, with a population of over 1.3 billion people, and India, with a population of over 1.2 billion people, are in extreme need of energy. Providing alternative sources of energy for their domestic and industrial sectors will be very important. In the United Nations Climate Change Conference of 2015, popularly known as COP 21, India resisted the stringent policies meant to cut down on its emission of greenhouse gases stating that its economy was industrializing and that it cannot avoid the use of fossil fuel. Providing alternative sources of energy such as solar power may be very helpful for this country.
Germany has become one of the world’s top producers of green energy using wind power. Many nations around the world are yet to tap wind energy at a commercial level, especially in emerging economies and developing countries. Wind energy can help cut down on the emission of greenhouse gases by providing environmentally friendly energy. Wind energy can particularly be useful in East Europe, South America, parts of Asia, and Africa. The Department of State, through its Office of Special Envoy for Climate Change, can influence the use of wind energy as a way of cutting down on the emission of greenhouse gases without reducing the use of energy. In East Europe, this department should work closely with Russia and other NATO members to support and promote the use of wind energy. It is true that Russia is one of the biggest exporters of natural gas in the region. However, its government should be reminded that wind energy, and other green energy sources, for that matter, do not compromise the quality of natural gas they will be exporting. This energy source can also help West Europe to reduce its over-reliance on Russia for natural gas. Using wind energy is a step closer to reducing overreliance.
The United States is one of the leading countries in the production of geothermal energy, with its geothermal power plant located at The Geysers considered the largest in the world. Developing countries such as the Philippines, Kenya, Iceland, El Salvador, and Costa Rice currently produce over 15% of their electricity from this source. It is a clear indication of the potential of this form of energy. Tapping into this energy will help reduce reliance on fossil fuels. Mr. Wharton should ensure that his office coordinates with other relevant departments in various countries around the world to ensure that the production of geothermal power is promoted. It may even require this department to source grants from developed economies and international financial institutions to fund geothermal power production projects around the world. He should also help other countries that still lack the technical capacity to embrace this form of green energy production to find the needed expertise from other countries, especially from the United States.
Biogas is also a considerably good source of renewable energy that can be used for different purposes around the world. In the United States, Europe, and parts of Asia, the extremely cold winters force households to use heaters as a way of regulating their room temperatures. Instead of using electricity, households can use firewood to warm their houses during winters. Promoting modern architecture where fireplaces in homes are designed to be safe and easy to use can help families embrace this practice. The Office of Special Envoy for Climate Change can work with non-governmental organizations and architects to promote this culture across Europe. Families should be encouraged to use this form of energy during winters, but in a responsible manner that poses no threat to the natural vegetation. Responsible tree harvesting should be encouraged to ensure that there is sustainability. In Sub-Sahara Africa, biomass is still the main source of energy for heating and cooking. However, the harvesting of trees is done in an unsustainable manner. This office should find a way of empowering people in this region through non-governmental organizations so that they can know and embrace better tree harvesting techniques. Agricultural wastes can also be used to generate energy for domestic and commercial use. These strategies will reduce overreliance on fossil fuels.
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Hydropower has been in use for a very long time, and it is the primary source of electricity in most countries around the world. However, the volume of water in some of the drought-hit areas such as Sub-Sahara Africa is dropping, which means that new technologies must be embraced in hydropower production. Other than technology improvement, this office can work with governmental and non-governmental organizations to protect water catchment areas in these regions to protect rivers used in generating power. Empowering the locals will also help in making them contented economically, reducing or even eliminating the desire to immigrate to the United States and other developed countries illegally. The Office of Special Envoy for Climate Change can work with the governments and non-governmental agencies to involve the locals in protecting the water catchment areas, thereby creating jobs for them.
The United States is the most influential country in the world, and as such, it has the biggest responsibility when it comes to fighting climate change. The Office of Special Envoy for Climate Change has a very critical responsibility of coming up with strategies that can be used to reduce global warming around the world. It means that the department needs to work with governmental and non-governmental agencies both locally and at international levels to promote the use of green energy.