President Obama: Momentum Toward a Clean Energy Future is Irreversible

Chuck Colgan's picture

President Barack Obama details four reasons why he believes trends toward clean energy are “irreversible” and will overcome “near-term politics” in an article published January 9 in the policy forum of the journal Science titled, “The Irreversible Momentum of Clean Energy.”

"Putting near-term politics aside," Obama wrote, "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."

The President’s four main points are

  • Economies Grow, Emissions Fall – Since 2008, the U.S. has experienced the first sustained period of rapid greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions and simultaneous economic growth.
  • Private-Sector Emissions Reductions – Businesses are coming to the conclusion that reducing emissions is not just good for the environment, but it can also boost bottom lines, cut costs for consumers and deliver returns for shareholders.
  • Market Forces in the Power Sector – The American electric power sector continues to shift from higher-emitting coal to lower-emitting natural gas while renewable electricity investments and deployment rise.
  • Global Momentum – More than 110 countries accounting for over 75 percent of global emissions have already joined the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Obama concludes, “Despite the policy uncertainty that we face, I remain convinced that no country is better suited to confront the climate challenge and reap the economic benefits of a low-carbon future than the United States.”

Chuck Colgan