The White House tweeted on Saturday that Obama’s long-awaited climate speech will come Tuesday afternoon at Georgetown University. The President said in an accompanying video (below):
In my inaugural address, I pledged that America would respond to the growing threat of climate change for the sake of our children and future generations.
This Tuesday, I’ll lay out my vision for where I believe we need to go –- a national plan to reduce carbon pollution, prepare our country for the impacts of climate change, and lead global efforts to fight it.
The Washington Post reports that, “Obama will couch the effort not only in terms of the nation’s domestic priorities, but as a way to meet the administration’s international pledge to reduce the country’s greenhouse-gas emissions 17 percent below 2005 levels.”
A serious plan to achieve the 17 percent cut is considered by many to be the sine qua non for successful U.S. engagement in international climate talks — although it is inadequate from the perspective of what climate science says is required to stay on the 2°C (3.6°F) warming path.
Analysis by the Natural Resources Defense Council, among others, makes clear that attaining the 17 percent cut without further Congressional action will require regulating pollution emissions at existing power plants. Indeed, the EPA “is legally obligated to issue rules regulating CO2 from existing power plants.”
Watch Obama’s video:
Here are Obama’s full remarks:
This is a serious challenge — but it’s one uniquely suited to America’s strengths.
We’ll need scientists to design new fuels, and farmers to grow them.
We’ll need engineers to devise new sources of energy, and businesses to make and sell them.
We’ll need workers to build the foundation for a clean energy economy.
And we’ll need all of us, as citizens, to do our part to preserve God’s creation for future generations — our forests and waterways, our croplands and snowcapped peaks.
There’s no single step that can reverse the effects of climate change. But when it comes to the world we leave our children, we owe it to them to do what we can.
So I hope you’ll share this message with your friends. Because this a challenge that affects everyone — and we all have a stake in solving it together.
I hope to see you Tuesday. Thank you.
350.org founder and climate activist Bill McKibben said in response to news about the speech, “The world desperately needs climate leadership, and today Barack Obama showed he might turn out to be the guy who provided it.”
In February, the Wall Street Journal reported that the President had been “pushing the team to get very specific about how to achieve the goals he set on reducing greenhouse-gas emissions.” He described his general approach in the State of the Union this year, and on Tuesday, Americans will get a more complete picture on what Obama plans to do about “the global threat of our time.”