STATEMENT: WRI’s Steer “Delighted” Obama Considering Additional Action on Climate
WASHINGTON (January 12, 2016)- President Obama delivered his final State of the Union address, which included combating climate change and hinted at additional actions the U.S. can take.
Following is a statement from Andrew Steer, President & CEO, World Resources Institute:
“President Obama’s final state of the union appropriately looked beyond his last year in office to the future— five, ten and more years ahead. The four main points of the speech— opportunity and security, making technology work for not against us, keeping America safe, and making politics reflect the best in us instead of the worst— are all are tied to sustainability that underpins that future.
“He powerfully articulated the growing consensus that climate action advances economic growth and jobs. Even if the planet wasn’t at stake, he asked, ‘why would we want to pass up the chance for American businesses to produce and sell the energy of the future?’
“He also took to task those who continue to question the reality of human-caused global warming, saying that they ‘will be pretty lonely because you’ll be debating our military, most of America’s business leaders, the majority of the American people, almost the entire scientific community, and 200 nations around the world who agree it’s a problem and intend to solve it.’
“While laying claim to a strong environmental record, he also indicated that he’s not done yet, arguing that rather than ‘subsidize the past, we should invest in the future — especially in communities that rely on fossil fuel,’ adding that he will push to change the way the U.S. manages oil and coal resources ‘so that they better reflect the costs they impose on taxpayers and our planet.’
“This is one of several areas that the president has additional latitude to use his executive authority to further cement his legacy of action on climate and other environmental issues. In its final year, the Obama administration should not rest. I’m delighted that the president seems to be considering additional actions to ensure that the U.S. achieves its emissions reduction targets and sets the stage for even more progress ahead.”