“The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s latest report on mitigation makes it clear that the next ten to twenty years are critical if we are to avoid the worst consequences of climate change. The IPCC report notes that it will be substantially more difficult to maintain low GHG concentrations in the long term if we do not act aggressively now. The report also points out that there are many low-carbon energy pathways to a prosperous future while mitigating climate change risks to a significant degree.
“Recognizing this imperative to act, the United States has been doing our part. The President’s Climate Action Plan lays out a series of new initiatives that are underway to bring new sources of renewable power online faster, reduce emissions from our fossil fuel plants and transportation sector, sustain nuclear power, and drive greater energy efficiency across our communities, businesses and industries. In recent years, the United States has more than doubled the amount of electricity generated from wind and solar. President Obama set the mark high when he called for another doubling of renewable electricity generation by 2020, a doubling of new vehicle fuel efficiency by 2025, and a doubling of economy-wide energy productivity by 2030. The President’s all-of-the-above approach entails making the technology investments that will enable all fuel sources to have a role in the future low-carbon marketplace – carbon capture and sequestration for fossil power plants, advanced biofuels and electrification for vehicles, next generation nuclear power, lower cost renewables, modernized energy infrastructure, and the manufacturing advances that will underpin a clean energy economy.
“A previous IPCC report indicated that even as we mitigate climate change risks, we also need to address the changes that are already happening as a result of global warming. The President’s Climate Action Plan lays out initiatives for enhancing energy infrastructure resilience to these changes. However, greenhouse gas reductions are essential, and ultimately, a much lower cost option than managing climate impacts from unrestrained emissions growth. This IPCC report makes clear that prudence calls for doing all that we can now and in the years ahead.”
ST Staff Writers
This post was prepared by Solar Thermal Magazine staff.