The United States is facing a climate crisis that is “a disaster that we are going to have to deal with for generations”, US Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz said in a speech on Tuesday.
The US has an estimated 3.2 billion people living within one mile of a source of power.
The US has a huge fossil fuel infrastructure, and we’ve got to get the money together and get a lot of the fossil fuel industry to make the investments that will save us, Moniz added.
“We have a lot to learn from the past,” he said.
“But we also have to learn the lessons from today.
We can’t be complacent.”
Moniz’s speech came days after Trump issued an executive order calling for a national moratorium on fossil fuel leasing, saying it was necessary to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide from power plants and create jobs.
But he also told Congress that the US would “never relinquish” its historic role as the world’s leader in carbon emissions.
“We are the world leader in climate change.
And it’s not just about the Paris Agreement, it’s about the commitments we’ve made over the past 50 years,” Trump said on the eve of his 100th day in office.
“And if we’re going to continue to lead, we’re not going to be the world champion anymore.”
In January, the US became the first major country to pass a law to ban carbon emissions from existing power plants.
But Trump has also ordered that the country burn more fossil fuels and the Environmental Protection Agency has proposed limiting carbon emissions in new coal plants by 30 percent from 2025.
Moniz called on Congress to pass legislation that would “provide the certainty and certainty of a long-term solution”.
He said the federal government would provide a range of support, including incentives to promote clean energy, subsidies to states and companies and financial incentives to encourage more clean energy investments.
The US is a major contributor to climate change and Moniz warned that it would take a “long, long time” for the country to meet its 2020 greenhouse gas reduction targets.
“The challenge is, we need to do more,” he told the US Congress.
“The fact that we’ve already achieved our goals by 2020 and 2030 is something we’re looking forward to.”
Read more about the US, energy and climate change:Trump orders review on CO2 emissions at US CapitolA report by the Energy Department found that the United States has a significant amount of carbon pollution from the burning of fossil fuels, especially in the coal industry.
The report said US emissions of greenhouse gases have increased by 0.7 percent since 2009, from 2.9 billion metric tons to 4.2 trillion.