Obama: Clean energy trend ‘irreversible’

Obama: Clean energy trend ‘irreversible’
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President Obama laid out his case Monday for why the worldwide movement toward clean energy is “irreversible” and can withstand any policy changes.

The opinion piece in the academic journal Science, complete with references end notes, serves in part as a celebration of Obama’s legacy on clean energy and climate change, and a call to action for future policymakers, including President-elect Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpNew EPA rule would expand Trump officials' powers to reject FOIA requests Democratic senator introduces bill to ban gun silencers Democrats: Ex-Commerce aide said Ross asked him to examine adding census citizenship question MORE.

“The United States is showing that GHG [greenhouse gas] mitigation need not conflict with economic growth. Rather, it can boost efficiency, productivity, and innovation,” he wrote.


But the piece is also a reassurance to environmentalists and others that the business community also wants to fight climate change, and will continue to do so after he leaves office in less than two weeks.

“Businesses are coming to the conclusion that reducing emissions is not just good for the environment — it can also boost bottom lines, cut costs for consumers, and deliver returns for shareholders,” Obama wrote.

“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.”

The Science piece comes amid growing pessimism among Democrats and environmentalists regarding Trump’s environmental policy.

Trump said on the campaign trail that he plans to quickly start undoing Obama’s climate change legacy, which was largely built on executive actions.

The president-elect has pledged to unleash an energy revolution, centered on fossil fuels like oil and coal.

Nonetheless, Obama prodded Trump in the piece, saying that “the latest science and economics provide a helpful guide for what the future may bring” in terms of energy policy.

This is not the first time Obama has been published in an academic journal. He wrote a piece on criminal justice last week in the Harvard Law Review, and in July, he wrote on healthcare reform in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the first time a sitting president wrote for an academic journal.