Speaking at Georgetown University in Washington DC yesterday, President Obama announced he would use his executive powers to enforce new rules on curbing greenhouse gas emissions.
He laid out a package of measures aimed at tackling climate change, including lowering emissions from existing power plants. The President also unveiled plans for an expansion of renewable energy projects, improved flood resilience and calls for an international climate deal.
A statement released by the White House said:
While no single step can reverse the effects of climate change, we have a moral obligation to future generations to leave them a planet that is not polluted and damaged.
Roger Harrabin, Environment Analyst writing for the BBC news notes that ‘16 years after the global agreement to tackle climate change in Kyoto Protocol, the World can see how the US intends to play its part‘. Harrabin goes on to say that
It may be cutting CO2 only 4% on 1990 levels by 2020 – less than a fifth of the amount achieved in the EU – but this is at least a plan, and some of the US green think-tanks are grateful for it.
This move by President Obama is hugely significant.
Here is the fact sheet on President Obama’s Climate Action Plan.
[updated to include a link to the Climate Action fact sheet]