Obama lays out plan to tackle climate change

PTI Washington | Updated on March 12, 2018

US President Barack Obama. File Photo.

US President Barack Obama has announced his most sweeping plan yet to tackle pollution and global warming, asserting that the United States has intensified its cooperation with major emerging economies like India, Brazil and China to address this issue.

Delivering a major policy speech on climate change yesterday, Obama said he has directed his administration to launch negotiations toward global free trade in environmental goods and services, including clean energy technology, to help more countries skip past the dirty phase of development and join a global low-carbon economy.

“They don’t have to repeat all the same mistakes that we made,” he said.

“We’ve also intensified our climate cooperation with major emerging economies like India and Brazil, and China — the world’s largest emitter. So, for example, earlier this month, President Xi of China and I reached an important agreement to jointly phase down our production and consumption of dangerous hydro fluorocarbons, and we intend to take more steps together in the months to come. It will make a difference. It’s a significant step in the reduction of carbon emissions,” Obama said.

Obama informed that though all America’s carbon pollution fell last year, global carbon pollution rose to a record high.

Developing countries are using more and more energy, and tens of millions of people entering a global middle class naturally want to buy cars and air-conditioners of their own, just like Americans, he said.

“Can’t blame them for that,” Obama said.

“Developing nations with some of the fastest-rising levels of carbon pollution are going to have to take action to meet this challenge alongside us. They’re watching what we do, but we’ve got to make sure that they’re stepping up to the plate as well. We compete for business with them, but we also share a planet. And we have to all shoulder the responsibility for keeping the planet habitable, or we’re going to suffer the consequences together,” said the US President.

Obama ordered his administration to end the practise of coal-fired power plants dumping unlimited carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere, announcing the first-ever federal regulations on emissions by new and existing power plants.

Obama said the actions he has announced today should send a strong signal to the world that America intends to take bold action to reduce carbon pollution.

The President also said an oil pipeline project from Canadian tar sands to Texas refineries should only be approved if it doesn’t “significantly exacerbate” carbon pollution.

Environmental activists have demanded that his administration not approve the Keystone XL pipeline, while Canada’s leaders have pushed for its approval.

“I am convinced this is the fight America can, and will, lead in the 21st century. And I’m convinced this is a fight that America must lead. But it will require all of us to do our part. We’ll need scientists to design new fuels, and we’ll need farmers to grow new fuels,” he said.

Published on June 26, 2013

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