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Barack Obama: clean energy is here to stay

January 10, 2017

Barack Obama: clean energy is here to stay

January 10, 2017, by Tim Radford

LONDON, 10 January, 2017 – Barack Obama, outgoing president of the United States, has stepped directly into the climate debate. He believes that the US is on the way to a “clean energy” world and he delivers four reasons why he thinks the shift is now irreversible.

In an article for the journal Science, President Obama says that although the understanding of the impact of climate change is increasingly and disturbingly clear, “there is still debate about the proper course for US policy – a debate that is very much on display during the current presidential transition”.

That is almost his only acknowledgment of President-elect Donald Trump’s declared belief that climate change is a hoax, invented by the Chinese.

Clean energy economy
“But putting near-term politics aside,” he writes, “the mounting economic and scientific evidence leave me confident that trends toward a clean energy economy that have emerged during my presidency will continue and that the economic opportunity for our country to harness that trend will only grow.”

First of these is that between 2008 and 2015, the US economy grew by 10% while carbon dioxide emissions from the energy sector fell by 9.5%, an outcome that “should put to rest the argument that combating climate change requires accepting lower growth or a lower standard of living”.

Renewable energy costs fell dramatically during his years in office: 41% for wind, 54% for rooftop solar photovoltaics and 64% for big solar-power installations. Clean energy now attracts twice as much global capital as fossil fuels.

Read more at Climate News Network.

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