Rhein on Energy and Climate

Climate change has traditionally divided the American political elite.

If Republicans had acknowledged that citizens are responsible for climate change the US would no longer be the “villain of the game”, and global climate change would have been better addressed. Instead, Americans continue to ignore their responsibility for the worsening of the global climate.

She is therefore to be applauded for her courage to use the presidential campaign for launching a national debate that will sharpen the differences between Democrats and Republicans and challenge Republicans who ignore the science of climate change.

The election campaign should therefore become- for the first time- a “battlefield” for the most important global issue. This will be positive for USA, which lags behind in its performance, and humanity.

She gives, of course, her full support to President Obama`s emission curbs on fossil power plants and his fight against Republicans` efforts to roll them back,

More important, she has announced a comprehensive agenda for expanding renewable energy – solar, wind and biomass-, the details of which will be announced later in the year.

She wants the USA to become the world’s clean energy power. By 2026, every home should equipped with solar/wind energy and much improved efficiency (thermal insulation); the country should generate at least one third of its demand from renewable energy.

Tax incentives should be recalibrated away from fossil to renewable power.

This programme would also have a positive impact on the state of health, in particular for asthma and other lung diseases.

It will be interesting to watch how the debate will unfold in the coming 15 months.

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