Another senseless decision has been handed down in Washington, as The Energy Department has been instructed to shut down the Office of International Climate and Technology. Previously, the office worked alongside other countries to create and collaborate on clean energy technology.
The office was created in 2010 to allow the U.S. to give and receive advice from other countries on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In its time, the office helped prepare the Clean Energy Ministerial, a forum where leading countries gathered and discussed electric vehicles, climate change, and how best to attain energy efficiency. Additionally, it aided India in developing lighting efficiency standards, which will contribute to reduced carbon dioxide emissions and air pollution.
Unfortunately, climate change and energy efficiency are of little consequence to the Trump era Administration, so the office is being eliminated and it’s 11 staff members are being terminated.
Photo by Department of Energy and Climate Change/Flickr CC BY-ND 2.0
While the decision is unfavorable, it is not at all surprising, considering Trump’s consistent denial of global warming, and the proposed budget for 2018, which calls for, “elimination of climate change initiatives” inside the Energy Department.
Furthermore, there will absolutely be international consequences for shutting down the Office of International Climate and Technology. Not only will the decision make climate-related communication with other countries much less accessible in general, but it will also leave some countries without specialized technical expertise on the advancement of clean energy efforts.
While the future of international energy technology sharing is up in the air, we can hope that Congress steps in to oppose any further cuts to the Energy Department. We can also hope that the other countries will continue to work together to develop solutions for climate change, even in the wake of America’s denial.
Photo by HypnoArt/Pixabay, CC0
Caitlin Phillips is a freelance writer spending her summer in Budapest, Hungary.