Obama and climate change – finally some action?

Obama and climate change – finally some action?

There is no doubt that when it comes to contributing to climate change, the USA is a big offender, but hopefully Obama has noticed. His dramatic unveiling of the new American energy plan at least recognises that something has to be done.

US President Barack Obama is announcing what he calls “the biggest, most important step we have ever taken” in tackling climate change. He has literally taken on the energy companies, declaring a war on coal and putting emphasis on wind and solar power, amongst other renewables. The main thrust of his energy plan is to move to new energy sources, sustainable sources that will help tackle climate change and free one of the world’s biggest economies from a reliance on fossil fuels.

The US has to date been one of the largest contributors of greenhouse emmissions in the world, with relatively little done to tackle the problem. Obama has set out a Clean Power Plan which aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions from US power stations by almost 30% within 15 years, and that’s to start with.

Of course, the people with interests in the traditional energy industry are putting up a fight and have pledged to fight the new plan. But that is to be expected of course, what remains to be seen is whether Obama can hold out against these forces, especially as some of them could be large contributors to political campaigns.

Power plants fired by coal deliver over 30% of the electricity supply in the country at the moment, and Obama has vowed to slash this, cutting emissions by over 30% of 2005 levels by 2030.

It’s good news for Americans if he can push through and win this battle. In fact, it’s good news for everyone on the planet. If the US can do it, then the hope is that other countries will follow suit. Obama is taking a step in the right direction and focussing on what matters, what he needs now is for people to put the planet first too – as big a struggle as tackling global warming, but just as important.

 

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