Despite walkout on Paris pact, US lays claims to headship of clean energy

*Says 300 million Africans would benefit from its $60bn energy initiative

The United States has said that while its new position on the Paris climate change pact was clear, it has not surrendered its leadership of the world’s pursuit of clean and affordable energy for all its citizens.

US Acting Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, Judith Garber, said at the 23rd Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP23) in Bonn, Germany, that it will continue to be a leader in clean energy and innovation despite its intention to withdraw from the deal.

It equally stated that it understood the need for transforming energy systems in the world to combat greenhouse gas emission, and would do that through, among other things, increased innovation on sustainable energy and energy efficiency, and working towards low greenhouse gas emissions energy systems.

“Our guiding principles are universal access to affordable and reliable energy, and open, competitive markets that promote efficiency and energy security, not only for the United States but around the globe.

“The United States will continue supporting a balanced approach to climate mitigation, economic development, and energy security that takes into consideration the realities of the global energy mix,” said Garber.

According to Garber, the US had in the past 10 years reduced its net greenhouse gas emissions to 11.5 per cent, and grown its economy by 15 per cent.

She said a large portion of these reductions have come from the adoption by US private sector, innovative energy technologies.

“We want to work with other countries to continue advancing the development and deployment of a broad array of technologies that will ultimately enable us to achieve our climate and energy security goals.

“Already, the United States is working bilaterally with countries such as China and India to advance power sector transformation and smart grid technologies, energy efficiency, and carbon capture, utilization and storage,” she added.

Garber, said to buttress the leadership of the US in clean energy deployment, that it has several multilateral initiatives especially in Africa to upgrade access to energy using sources that are cheap and available to her countries.

“Through our work with Power Africa, we have catalyzed some $60 billion in energy investments that will provide modern energy services for roughly 300 million citizens across Africa by 2030,” she added.