The Irreversible Momentum of Clean Energy

In a piece for the journal Science, U.S. President Barack Obama writes that the economic opportunity for the United States to harness the clean energy economy trend will only grow in coming years.

In his final week as President of the United States, Barack Obama has authored a piece in the journal Science arguing that the clean energy momentum in the U.S. is unstoppable, spurred on by emerging trends and the economic opportunity of a low-carbon economy. As the President writes, “[t]he United States is showing that GHG mitigation need not conflict with economic growth. Rather, it can boost efficiency, productivity, and innovation.”

The data says it all: From 2008 to 2015, carbon emissions from the energy sector fell by 9.5%, while the economy grew by more than 10%. The President argues that these trends and others should put to rest the argument that addressing climate change must reduce economic growth or the standard of living. Rather, inaction on climate change will drive changes that could trigger catastrophic events in our environment that could cause major damage to the global macroeconomy.

Photo: President Obama addresses heads of state at the 2014 Climate Summit at the United Nations headquarters | Photo Credit: United Nations / John Gillespie

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