"Those rapidly-growing developing nations that will produce nearly all the growth in global carbon emissions in the decades ahead must do their part as well. We cannot meet this challenge unless all the largest emitters of greenhouse gas pollution act together. There is no other way."
"No nation, however large or small, wealthy or poor, can escape the impact of climate change. Rising sea levels threaten every coastline. More powerful storms and floods threaten every continent. More frequent drought and crop failures breed hunger and conflict in places where hunger and conflict already thrive. On shrinking islands, families are already being forced to flee their homes as climate refugees. The security and stability of each nation and all peoples - our prosperity, our health, our safety - are in jeopardy. And the time we have to reverse this tide is running out."
"I know that there are those who disagree with the overwhelming scientific evidence on climate change," he said. "But even if you doubt the evidence, providing incentives for energy efficiency and clean energy are the right thing to do for our future."
Barack Obama promised to tackle climate change when he first ran for the White House four years ago, but — battling this summer for a second term — he speaks little of the issue even as the United States suffers through a drought of historic proportions, wild storms and punishing heat that topples temperature records almost daily.
The plan centers on a cap-and-trade system that aims for 80 percent emission reductions from 1990 levels by 2050 and calls for auctioning 100 percent of the pollution permits. It also includes a $150 billion investment to boost clean energy and create green jobs, along with fine-grained proposals to boost efficiency, build a smart electricity grid, and encourage public transportation.
I will be very clear in voicing my belief that we're going to have to take further steps to deal with climate change in a serious way. That there's a way to do it that is entirely compatible with strong economic growth and job creation – that taking steps, for example, to retrofit buildings all across America with existing technologies will reduce our power usage by 15 or 20 percent.
Shortly after his November 2008 election, Obama said "few challenges" were "more urgent than combating climate change," said a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton signed by the heads of 16 organizations, including the Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council and the Union of Concerned Scientists. The letter quotes the president as vowing, "Once I take office, you can be sure that the United States will once again engage vigorously in these negotiations, and help lead the world toward a new era of global cooperation on climate change."
Mr. Obama has been a champion of climate change regulation. He has moved unilaterally to limit greenhouse gases from vehicles and large sources such as coal-burning power plants.
President Obama signed an Executive Order on Federal sustainability that directs Federal agencies to reduce greenhouse gas pollution, meet a number of energy, water, and waste reduction targets, improve the efficiency of vehicle fleets, and leverage Federal purchasing power to promote environmentally-responsible products and technologies.
President Obama is pursuing a wide range of initiatives that reduce greenhouse gas emissions through clean energy technologies and policies. The Administration has made the largest clean energy investment in American history and these investments have allowed us to nearly double America’s renewable power generation since 2008.