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Obama presidency may signal new era for ‘green’ energy

19 January, 2009 - by Martina Anderson MEP

Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún speaking ahead of the inauguration of Barack Obama has said that there is a sense of optimism that the new US president will bring about a new era for green energy.

Barack Obama has laid out a bold plan to tackle the economic crisis in the US that includes:

  • doubling clean energy production in three years;
  • building a smart electric grid to distribute clean energy; and
  • creating millions of new green jobs.

Commenting Ms de Brún said:

"This year will be crucial in setting out how the world responds to the environmental challenges we face. By the end of 2009 negotiations in Copenhagen will hopefully lead to a replacement for the existing Kyoto Protocol.

"Many people are also watching to see how the new US President Barack Obama responds to climate change and the need to develop more sustainable energy. Already he has brought forward a number of proposals that put climate change at the heart of his rescue package to tackle the economic crisis.

"Locally the Executive needs to reassess its options for tackling rising energy demand, meeting energy efficiency and renewable energy targets and reducing CO2 emissions.

"We must combat the ongoing misery facing people who are living in fuel poverty, protect the environment and tackle climate change. Renewable energy in particular could be developed in an all-Ireland energy market.

"The opening up of an all-Ireland energy market could help bring down prices, particularly for electricity. We would also be in a better position to benefit from a new green deal to help re-launch the global economy.

"At a time of economic recession the opportunities presented by renewables and energy conservation should be seen as an incentive to improve energy efficiency, reduce emissions and create much needed employment." ENDS

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