“My presidency will mark a new chapter in America’s leadership on climate change,” Obama said in a video message to governors and others attending a Los Angeles summit on the issue.
In the roughly four-minute message, Obama reiterated his support for a cap-and-trade system approach to cutting green house gases. He would establish annual targets to reduce emissions to their 1990 levels by 2020 and reduce them another 80 percent by 2050. Obama also promoted anew his proposal to invest $15 billion each year to support private sector efforts toward clean energy.
Is anyone else quite as excited as I am to hear him talking this way? I know it’s a little strange, considering it’s not novel thinking or behaviour – it’s a resumption of the way things should have been all along – but it feels like this great weight has been lifted. After 8 years of denial by the Bush White House and right-wing in general, Obama’s out and out saying there’s no room for debate or discussion about whether we need to do something to combate climate change, it’s now down to what’s to be done, how much, by whom and when.
“My presidency will mark a new chapter in America’s leadership on climate change that will strengthen our security, and create millions of new jobs in the process.”
This further comment in his address to the opening session of the Global Climate Summit was quite telling, pairing climate change and national security, echoing the Phoenix Initiative’s approach to foreign policy. There seems little doubt now that his approach as president to issues such as climate change, oil dependence, nuclear proliferation and counterterrorism will be rooted in this post-Cold War and post-War on Terror perspective. That’s sure change I can believe in.