Today (Nov. 30) the 2015 Paris Climate Conference (COP21) got underway. President Barak Obama (D) was one of the early speakers at the conference, promoting national and international actions to reduce climate change. An early result of the conference, beyond promises from nations like the U.S. and China, is a new global clean tech fund initiative, Mission Innovation.
“Our task here in Paris is to turn these achievements into an enduring framework for human progress—not a stopgap solution, but a long-term strategy that gives the world confidence in a low-carbon future,” Obama said.
“Our understanding of the ways human beings disrupt the climate advances by the day. Fourteen of the 15 warmest years on record have occurred since the year 2000—and 2015 is on pace to be the warmest year of all. No nation—large or small, wealthy or poor—is immune to what this means,” Obama remarked at the summit.
“That future is one that we have the power to change.…But only if we rise to this moment,” Obama said. “I’ve come here personally, as the leader of the world’s largest economy and the second-largest emitter, to say that the United States of America not only recognizes our role in creating this problem, we embrace our responsibility to do something about it.”
Obama already has done more than any other President to fight climate change. “We’ve made ambitious investments in clean energy, and ambitious reductions in our carbon emissions. We’ve multiplied wind power threefold, and solar power more than twentyfold, helping create parts of America where these clean power sources are finally cheaper than dirtier, conventional power. We’ve invested in energy efficiency in every way imaginable,” he stated. But the COP21 is a chance to continue to broaden the international effort through things like the Mission Innovation fund.
The White House said that under the new initiative 20 countries have committed to double their respective clean energy research and development (R&D) investment over the next five years. “These countries include the top five most populous nations—China, India, the United States, Indonesia, and Brazil. They stretch across five continents. And when you add all partner countries together, they represent 75 percent of the world’s CO2 emissions from electricity, and more than 80 percent of the world’s clean energy R&D investment,” The White House stated. It should also be noted that developing nations are also increasing their use of clean energy at a rapid pace, too. Recently a report showed that for the first time they outspent developed nations in clean energy.
"America’s solar industry applauds the world’s government and business leaders for their commitment in Paris to funding clean energy research,” applauded Solar Energy Industries Association President Rhone Resch. “While it’s clear that more needs to be done to tackle the world’s global warming challenge, the formation of this clean technology fund sends an irrefutable message that use of zero carbon energy sources, such as solar energy, must be the norm if we are to take meaningful steps to halt rising temperatures.” He added that solar power has made a strong contribution in the U.S. already and it looks forward to continuing to work with the administration and the U.S. expand solar power.Tweet