President Obama is set to lay out his plans for climate change measures this afternoon. According to The White House Blog, the president will speak at Georgetown University to discuss the steps he believes the country needs to take to prepare for the “impacts of climate change and lead the global effort to fight it.”
In a statement issued on the White House Twitter feed, Obama said that he plans to address the pledge he made in his second inaugural address to “respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray 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,” he said. “This is a serious challenge – but it’s one uniquely suited to America’s strengths.”
Environmentalists have been urging the president to take action on reducing greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants, as well as new ones, and to veto the Keystone XL pipeline. Last week, former Vice President Al Gore urged Obama to take action to reduce carbon emissions and veto the pipeline, regardless of industry criticism or opposition.
Both issues are considered by environmentalists to be key points in the president’s agenda. The Washington Post reports that individuals familiar with the White House plans said the president will discuss climate change not only in terms of domestic priorities, but also how the administration can meet its international pledge to reduce US greenhouse gas emissions 17 percent below 2005 levels.
Climate change action will also present new economic opportunities, the president said Saturday. “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.”
Alisha is a writer and researcher for Ring of Fire.