Trumps cuts to renewable energy put us on the ropes in the f ight against climate change

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Trumps cuts to renewable energy put us on the ropes in the f.ight against climate change.

News that the Trump administration is poised to ask Congress for deep budget cuts to the Energy Department’s renewable energy and energy efficiency programs has thus far generated less outrage than the White House’s abandonment of the Paris Climate Treaty, yet has the potential to be far more damaging to efforts to respond to climate change.

According to documents obtained by the Washington Post, the White House is seeking to slash the budgets by 72% in fiscal year 2019, which would cut research in fuel efficient vehicles by 82%, bioenergy technologies by 82%, advanced manufacturing by 75%, and solar energy technology by 78%.

Some of the spending being cut goes toward electric cars and fuel efficient vehicles — spending that ultimately subsidizes a deep-pocketed industry and wealthy drivers while doing next-to-nothing for the environment: One U.S. study shows the richest quarter of the population receives almost all the public money spent on subsidies to discount the vehicles, while the entire fleet makes almost zero impact on climate change. The International Energy Agency predicts that even by 2040, when there will be 280 million electric vehicles, this will only reduce global emissions by 1%. In the words of Fatih Biurol, the IEA head: “if you think you can save the climate with electric cars, you’re completely wrong.”

More: Amid Trump climate change setbacks, U.S. business can do good and do well

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