In a speech at the UN Tuesday, U.S. President Barack Obama warned that the world’s climate is changing faster than ever due to the impact of mankind. “Nobody gets a pass,” Obama stated, “We have to raise our collective ambition.”
Speaking at a United Nations summit on climate change, Obama said the U.S. is doing its part, and that it will meet goals to reduce carbon pollution at least 17% from 2005 levels by 2020. The president also announced limited new U.S. promises to help other countries deal with climate changes. It is hoped that the ongoing UN summit will drum up increased support for a global climate treaty due to be finalized in 2015.
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After meeting with failure on earlier efforts to negotiate global regulations on carbon emissions, world leaders are now pursuing a limited deal that would require nations to make significant cuts in carbon emissions or face censure ans possibly sanctions from an international body.
“No nation can meet this threat alone”
“The alarm bells keep ringing, our citizens keep marching,” Obama said in his prepared remarks. “We can’t pretend we can’t hear them. We need to answer the call. We need to cut carbon emission in our countries to prevent worse effects, adapt and work together as global community to tackle this global threat before it is too late.”
In his speech, Obama highlighted that the U.S. and China are the largest global polluters and this have a responsibility to lead. But he also noted, “No nation can meet this global threat alone.”
New U.S. climate change measures
Not surprisingly, given the gang of right wing climate-change deniers constantly torpedoing important new reform efforts in the U.S. Congress, the new measures unveiled by Obama are quite limited in scope: a partnership to help oil and gas companies fix methane leaks, a program employing U.S. technology to help poor people worldwide better prepare for natural disasters, and an executive order that mandates federal agencies to factor in the impact of climate change in U.S. international programs and investments.