When President Barack Obama announced the country’s first national climate strategy, many people wondered what it would mean across the nation. Yet, the strategy may carry even more significant implications overseas.
The plan restricts U.S. government funding for most international coal projects. This policy could significantly affect energy producers and public and private investors around the globe.
Why is this important?
Global energy-related greenhouse gas emissions, a major driver of climate change, hit a record high in 2012. Meanwhile, there are more than 1.2 billion people worldwide still without access to electricity. The global middle class is booming — especially in the developing world — and with it, energy demand is surging. In fact, global energy demand is expected to grow by one-third by 2035.
This surge in demand, however, does not need to lead to a surge in carbon pollution. It is well past time for the world to embrace the shift to renewable energy — a shift that would bring economic opportunities while leaving a better planet for future generations.