by Staff Writers
Ottawa (AFP) Dec 9, 2016
The United States will stay on its current path toward a low-carbon economy after Donald Trump's inauguration, US Vice-President Joe Biden predicted Friday during a visit to Ottawa.
"Whatever uncertainty exists around the near-term policy choices of the next president, I am absolutely confident the United States will continue making progress to this path to a low-carbon future," Biden told Canadian leaders meeting to finalize a deal on a national carbon price.
"This is unstoppable," he said.
Biden's visit comes amid concerns that the incoming administration could set back US efforts to combat climate change after the president-elect takes office in January.
During the campaign, Trump pledged to boost the oil and gas sector and bring back coal.
His pick of fossil fuel industry ally and global warming skeptic Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency cast doubts over Washington's future direction on climate change.
Biden argued that state and market-driven forces are overtaking the federal government in efforts to cut carbon pollution.
He cited more fuel efficient transportation and buildings, and state-to-province cooperation such as California, Quebec and Ontario trading carbon credits.
He also said US oil consumption is down while the installation of solar panels is rising.
"Many of the trends that I've mentioned have taken hold and are no longer dependent on government initiatives. They're market-driven, they're common sense," Biden said.
"So, regardless of whether the next administration is as aggressive as we have been, there is no way to turn back, I'm not suggesting they intend to, but there's no way to turn back this tide that has begun to roll."
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