Obama seeks to double US funds for clean energy research

US President Barack Obama proposed doubling US funding for clean energy research and development.
US President Barack Obama proposed doubling US funding for clean energy research and development.PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (AFP) - US President Barack Obama on Saturday (Feb 6) proposed doubling US funding over the next five years for clean energy research and development, as part of his ongoing effort to tackle climate change.

In his weekly media address, Mr Obama announced that he will send a budget to Congress on Tuesday which hits twice the current spending levels for clean energy research and development by 2020, declaring that "rather than subsidise the past, we should invest in the future."

The president next week sends to Congress the final spending blueprint of his presidency - a guidepost to his policy priorities - including proposals in the coming fiscal year to raise taxes and boost spending.

"One of the greatest challenges of our time is climate change," the US leader said.

"Over the last seven years, we've made historic investments in clean energy that helped private sector companies create tens of thousands of good jobs. And today, clean power from the wind or the sun is actually cheaper in many communities than dirtier, conventional power."

The increased spending, Mr Obama said, "will include new investments to help the private sector create more jobs faster, lower the cost of clean energy faster, and help clean, renewable power outcompete dirty fuels in every state."

Mr Obama's call for greater investment in clean energy echoes one he made in last month's annual State of the Union address, and dovetails with the ambitious global climate change accord concluded last year in Paris.