In an announcement on her campaign website yesterday (26 July), Clinton said climate change required the US to stand up and do more to invest in clean energy.

Clinton said: “You don’t have to be a scientist to take on this urgent challenge that threatens us all. You just have to be willing to act.”

The announcement said the former US Secretary of State would set two national clean energy goals if elected in the US presidential elections in 2016.

New era

In addition to the half a billion solar panels, Clinton said she would set out plans to have America generating enough renewable energy to power every American home within 10 years of taking office.

The goals would see the installed solar capacity of the US increase by 700% by 2020 and an increase of renewable energy generation to at least a third of electricity demand.

Clinton added: “We’re on the cusp of a new era. We can have more choice in the energy we consume and produce. We can create a more open, efficient and resilient grid that connects us, empowers us, improves our health and benefits all.”

The announcement said Clinton would make the US a clean energy superpower and set out a Clean Energy Challenge to form new partnerships to take the lead in reducing emissions.

Republican rivals

In a campaign video accompanying the announcment, Clinton said: “It’s hard to believe there are people running for president who still refuse to accept the settled science of climate change, who would rather remind us they are not scientists than listen to those who are.”

Her stance on climate change puts her at odds with most of her Republican presidential rivals, with several dismissing the science of climate change. TV personality and billionaire Donald Trump told CNN: “I’m a huge believer in clean air; I’m not a huge believer in the global warming phenomenon.”

Hillary Clinton’s clean energy promises follow a speech by the Mayor of New York Bill de Blaiso, who committed the city to cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030.

De Blaiso said: “In my city, it has become painfully obvious that we have to set difficult goals for ourselves. The extent of the climate crisis demands it. Any city, any nation, any corporation not straining to reduce emissions simply isn’t doing enough. The facts of this crisis make that self-evident.”

Democrat President Barack Obama has this year committed billions of dollars to reducing carbon emissions, setting up a new $4bn fund to encourage states to cut emissions from power stations. He also pledged $7.4bn for clean energy and efficiency developments at the Departs of Energy and Defence.

Matt Field

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