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Climate, Energy & Transport

Pope Francis’s first visit to the United States marks a spiritual moment that brings an intense focus to the world’s neediest. His arrival comes just as the new Sustainable Development Goals are about to be formalized and three months before the world is expected to unite around a global climate agreement in Paris. This trio of events may signal a profound shift for people and the planet.

It is impossible to succeed in today's economy without access to energy. But for an estimated 1.3 billion people, mostly in the developing world, electric power is still out of reach. Even among those with energy access, many still face unreliable service and regular blackouts. This is why it is so important that we push for Goal 7 of the proposed Sustainable Development Goals: "ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all."

As a former U.S. energy secretary, UN ambassador and governor of New Mexico, WRI Board Member Bill Richardson has watched the debate over the Clean Power Plan with keen interest. Here he explains how this common-sense rule to cut dangerous air pollution can help U.S. states and the national economy, while putting the United States in a leadership position in dealing with the international issue of climate change.


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