Green Cross on new US emissions commitments

Green Cross chief executive Adam Koniuszewski was the guest on Switzerland’s RTS news to discuss the newly-announced commitment by the United States to reduce emissions in the energy sector by 32% by 2030, increasing the market share of renewable energy while reducing dependence on coal.

Koniuszewski was interviewed by RTS anchor Darius Rochebin in the evening’s opening segment.

Watch the video here (in French).

Obama had already announced plans to reduce carbon emissions, but he had talked about going from coal to natural gas, and then eventually to renewables. Now the commitment is to go from coal straight to renewables, so it’s a big step forward,” said Koniuszewski.

The strategy predicts savings of $150 million for the American economy over the next ten years,” he continued. “It’s something that will have an enormous impact for American households.”

Despite the power of the fossil fuel lobby, renewables are gaining ground – around the world and in the United States.

Their first major offshore wind farm – previous efforts have all been blocked – went online yesterday, and will provide clean power to 13,000 homes.

Importantly for the domestic debate, it can no longer be claimed by that cutting emissions will just leave other countries to continue polluting and outcompeting the United States.

The Saudis have already said they are preparing for the end of oil, and are looking to become an exporter of clean energy as well. China is moving forward, with an emphasis on energy efficiency. They are preparing for their emissions to peak, and they are working with the Obama administration – such as through last December’s bilateral agreement – to reduce their carbon emissions.

The main argument against reducing emissions was that the Chinese and the Indians would not move on the issue. But that’s not true anymore.”