Shortsighted energy policy to benefit none

Updated 2017-01-23 12:03:28 Xinhua

Science has proved that climate change is largely caused by human activities. Any energy policy that goes against the science is shortsighted and disastrous to the whole world.

As Donald Trump was sworn in as U.S. president on Friday, the White House website published the new president's America First Energy Plan, saying he will eliminate "harmful and unnecessary" policies such as the Climate Action Plan and embrace the shale oil and gas revolution.

The energy plan of Trump, who has called climate change a "hoax," has a wrong starting point -- the denial of human activities as the main factor behind climate change.

Shale oil may benefit the United States by bringing down the price of oil, but Washington's policy carries another price -- the disorientation of world efforts against climate change.

The world consensus is that clean energy, instead of fossil fuels, is the only option.

Breakthroughs in such areas as second-generation biofuels, photovoltaic and wind energy, electric cars and energy-saving products have driven the rapid development of related industries and thus promoted the transformation of economic growth models.

Renewable energy, led by wind and solar power, has surpassed coal in 2015 to become the largest source of installed power capacity in the world, according to the International Energy Agency.

Some may be concerned that greenhouse gas mitigation and turning to clean energy may compromise economic growth. But as Trump's predecessor Barack Obama indicated, greenhouse gas mitigation can boost efficiency, productivity and innovation.

For instance, carbon dioxide emissions from the energy sector in the United States fell by 9.5 percent from 2008 to 2015, while the economy grew by more than 10 percent.

It is hoped that the Trump administration will come back to the right track of international cooperation in the face of perhaps one of the most pressing global challenges for mankind.

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