Obama in State of the Union: ‘Energietransitie moet sneller’
13 januari 2016 – In zijn laatste State of the Union stond de Amerikaanse president Barack Obama gisteravond ook stil bij de klimaatverandering. ‘We’ve got to accelerate the transition away from dirty energy.’
Gisteravond (Amerikaanse tijd) sprak president Obama het Congres toe in zijn laatste State of the Union. Het was een toespraak die vooral positief van toon was over de kracht van Amerika. ‘Our unique strengths as a nation — our optimism and work ethic, our spirit of discovery and innovation, our diversity and commitment to the rule of law — these things give us everything we need to ensure prosperity and security for generations to come.’
Hij besprak ‘four big questions that we as a country have to answer — regardless of who the next President is, or who controls the next Congress’.
Eén van die vier kwesties is voor hem de klimaatverandering (naast economie, mondiale veiligheid en een verbetering van het politieke klimaat). ‘How do we make technology work for us, and not against us — especially when it comes to solving urgent challenges like climate change?’
De volledige passage uit the State of the Union over klimaatverandering
‘(…) Look, if anybody still wants to dispute the science around climate change, have at it. You’ll be pretty lonely, because you’ll be debating our military, most of America’s business leaders, the majority of the American people, almost the entire scientific community, and 200 nations around the world who agree it’s a problem and intend to solve it.
But even if the planet wasn’t at stake; even if 2014 wasn’t the warmest year on record — until 2015 turned out even hotter — why would we want to pass up the chance for American businesses to produce and sell the energy of the future?
Seven years ago, we made the single biggest investment in clean energy in our history. Here are the results. In fields from Iowa to Texas, wind power is now cheaper than dirtier, conventional power. On rooftops from Arizona to New York, solar is saving Americans tens of millions of dollars a year on their energy bills, and employs more Americans than coal — in jobs that pay better than average. We’re taking steps to give homeowners the freedom to generate and store their own energy — something environmentalists and Tea Partiers have teamed up to support. Meanwhile, we’ve cut our imports of foreign oil by nearly sixty percent, and cut carbon pollution more than any other country on Earth. Gas under two bucks a gallon ain’t bad, either.
Now we’ve got to accelerate the transition away from dirty energy. Rather than subsidize the past, we should invest in the future — especially in communities that rely on fossil fuels. That’s why I’m going to push to change the way we manage our oil and coal resources, so that they better reflect the costs they impose on taxpayers and our planet. That way, we put money back into those communities and put tens of thousands of Americans to work building a 21st century transportation system.
None of this will happen overnight, and yes, there are plenty of entrenched interests who want to protect the status quo. But the jobs we’ll create, the money we’ll save, and the planet we’ll preserve — that’s the kind of future our kids and grandkids deserve.Climate change is just one of many issues where our security is linked to the rest of the world. (…)
White House, tekst State of the Union, 13 januari 2016: President Obama’s Final State of the Union
Foto: White House