Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Barack Obama still talking about climate change, clean energy

In an election cycle that has seen prominent Republican presidential candidates like Herman Cain and Rick Perry publicly question the science on climate change, incumbent President Barack Obama remains committed to solving the climate crisis and moving the U.S. down the path towards a clean energy economy.

Obama had this to say at a November 4, 2011 Press Conference following the G20 Summit in Cannes, France:
We agreed to keep phasing out fossil fuel subsidies -- perhaps the single-most important step we can take in the near term to fight climate change and create clean-energy economies. 
In Cannes, the leaders of the world's top 20 economies agreed to platform for "Improving energy markets and pursuing the Fight against Climate Change", stating in a Communique:
We are determined to enhance the functioning and transparency of energy markets. We commit to improve the timeliness, completeness and reliability of the JODI-oil database and to work on the JODI-gas database along the same principles. We call for continued dialogue annually between producers and consumers on a short, medium, and long-term out look forecasts for oil, gas and coal. We ask relevant organizations to make recommendations on the functioning and oversight of price reporting agencies. We reaffirm our commitment to rationalize and phase our over the medium term inefficient fossil fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption, while providing targeted support for the poorest.
We are committed to the success of the success of the Durban Conference on Climate Change and support South Africa as the incoming President of the Conference. We call for implementation of the Cancun agreements and further progress in all areas of negotiation, including the operationalization of the Green Climate Fund, as part of a balanced outcome in Durban. We discussed the IFIs report on climate finance and asked our Finance Ministers to continue work in the field, taking into account the objectives, provisions and principles of the UNFCCC. 
And at a November 7, 2011 campaign event in Washington, D.C., Obama noted the nation still has a lot of work to do on the clean energy front:
We still don’t have an energy policy that is suitable for the needs of the future.  And although we’ve made enormous progress, I think people forget, for example, that we doubled fuel efficiency standards on cars and trucks just in the last year, which if it had been in legislative form would have probably been the most significant piece of environmental legislation in the last 30 years.  A lot of people don’t know it.  And despite some of those gains we still are way too dependent on imported oil, and we still haven’t done everything we can to transition to a clean energy economy.

Official White House photo by Pete Sousa

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