With Signing Of Climate Accord, This Earth Day Marks The Beginning Of A New Era In Energy
Thursday, Apr 21 2016
From the heroic 1990 Peace Climb to the 2010 rally at the National Mall, Earth Day has been unifying citizens worldwide in epic demonstrations that celebrate nature and challenge governments to place environmental preservation at the top of their agendas. This year, our leaders are heeding this call to action.
Delegates from over 170 countries are convening at the United Nations Headquarters in New York to sign the Paris Agreement, an international accord devised to curb global temperature rise. President Obama is expected to sign on, affirming his pledge that the U.S. will reduce its greenhouse gas emissions at least 26% below 2005 levels by 2025.
For America’s solar industry, the signing ceremony is a momentous occasion.
Solar energy is projected to provide more than 3.5 percent of U.S electricity and double its workforce by 2020, and offset more than 100 million metric tons of carbon dioxide annually by 2021.
Ambitious initiatives like Mission Innovation and the Breakthrough Energy Coalition, which were launched simultaneously at the negotiations for the Paris Agreement, are encouraging clean energy research and development by pumping billions of dollars into the field by 2020 and beyond. Improving solar technologies while ensuring their affordability will be a chief focus.
"America’s solar industry applauds the world’s government and business leaders for their commitment in Paris to funding clean energy research,” Rhone Resch, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association, said in a statement about the Breakthrough Energy Coalition. “We look forward to working with President Obama, the business leaders who have stepped forward to address global warming, and leaders of all nations as they seek ways to deploy solar energy, and other low and no carbon sources, to reduce carbon emissions while enabling their economies to grow."
The Paris Accord gives America’s solar businesses another boost, on top of the Investment Tax Credit extension, that will foster competition and innovation, keep solar technologies affordable, escalate solar deployments and prevent dangerous amounts of greenhouse gases from swirling around in our atmosphere.
So to the spirited activists on the frontlines at Earth Day rallies across the nation, continue to holler for clean-energy and fight environmental injustice. But also celebrate the progress we’ve made over the last year that led us to a million solar installations, and a climate deal that will reap benefits for all.