President Obama: “It’s time for America and the world to act on climate change”

President Obama: “It’s time for America and the world to act on climate change”

President Barack Obama declared Sunday that his administration is poised to unroll greater-than-expected cuts to greenhouse gas emissions from U.S. power plants, in what he called “the biggest, most important steps we’ve ever taken to combat climate change.”

However, as leaked details of the plan circulate, some climate campaigners say the measures, in fact, fall short of the president’s pledge to take aggressive action to curb the global warming crisis.

In a White House video released Sunday, Obama acknowledged this crisis—emphasizing that scientific data shows that climate change is real and it already poses a threat to human and environmental health. “Climate change is not a problem for another generation,” Obama said. “Not anymore. That’s why my administration will release a final version of America’s Clean Power Plan.”

The plan is an update to a draft version released by the Environmental Protection Agency last summer. While the contents have not been officially released, they have been reported by numerous media outlets, including the Washington Post and New York Times, who cited unnamed sources in the Obama administration in articles published Saturday.

The cornerstone of the plan is a 32 percent cut in power plants’ greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, compared to 2005 levels. This is a greater reduction than the 30 percent slash called for in last year’s draft.

The new rule also boosts the requirements for renewable energy sources. “While the proposed rule would have allowed states to lower emissions by transitioning from plants fired by coal to plants fired by natural gas, which produces about half the carbon pollution of coal, the final rule is intended to push electric utilities to invest more quickly in renewable sources, raising to 28 percent from 22 percent the share of generating capacity that would come from such sources,” note Times reporters Coral Davenport and Gardiner Harris.

However, the plan also includes apparent concessions to the industry—which has already vowed to levy lawsuits against the provisions.

 

Source: EcoWatch

Date: August 2015

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