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Obama on renewables

President Obama says US clean energy trend is 'irreversible'
Obama visits largest photovoltaic plant In US In Nevada

President Barack Obama has said that the trends towards a clean energy economy that emerged during his two-term presidency ‘will continue’ after he leaves office.

Boosting bottom lines

Writing in a Policy Forum published in the 13 January issue of Science, the outgoing president outlined the future of one of his top policy goals, highlighting the four reasons that sustain his confidence.

First, he writes, from 2008 to 2015 the economy grew by more than 10% while carbon dioxide emissions from the energy sector fell by 9.5% – a result that ‘should put to rest the argument that combating climate change requires accepting lower growth or a lower standard of living’.

Second, he writes, businesses are seeing firsthand how reducing emissions works to their benefit, boosting bottom lines, cutting costs for consumers and delivering returns for shareholders.

Obama highlights several American firms that have cut energy waste to save money and invest in other areas of their businesses – efforts ultimately contributing to creating jobs.

‘It’s good business and good economics to lead a technological revolution and define market trends. The latest science and economics provide a helpful guide for what the future may bring.’

President of the USA

The power sector

As a third point, Obama highlights a changing American electric-power sector, one shifting from coal-focused production to that of natural gas, for example, and in large part due to market forces.

The dramatic drop in renewable electricity costs between 2008 and 2015 prompted moves like Google’s, he says, which plans to power 100% of its operations using renewable energy in 2017.

Finally, Obama highlights the global momentum in the clean energy space, which was lacking even just a short time ago.

At the Paris agreement in 2015, however, nations agreed that all countries should put forward smart climate policies.

Click here to read ‘The irreversible momentum of clean energy’, by Barack Obama.

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