It has finally happened, US president Barrack Obama has announced he is due to reveal “the biggest most important step we have ever taken” in tackling climate change.
This new revised Clean Power Plan is to cut greenhouse gasses from US power stations by nearly a third within 15 years. This plan will put major emphasis on both wind and solar power, including other renewables technologies. These new plans aim to cut carbon emissions from the power sector by 32% by 2030.
However this has met conflict as expected by opponents in the energy market, particularly from coal fired power plants, as currently they provide more than a third of the US electricity supply. They plan to fight the plans, stating that Obama has declared “a war on coal”.
Within these revised plans each state will be given their individual emission cutting goal and must submit a proposal to the environmental protection agency on how they plan to meet these targets. However already, several state governors are saying they will simply ignore the plans.
The release of these plans are “the starting gun for an all-out climate push” which in the hope will not only influence US but also help start the wheel for more countries to get on board and start making a change sooner rather than later.
These measures should give the president the moral authority he needs to argue for global reductions in greenhouse gases at a major conference in Paris later this year.
Obama seems to be the only one who is finally listening and taken notice. He acknowledges the new limits were backed up by decades of data showing that without action the world faced more extreme weather and escalating health problems.
Obama continues to say this is America’s “biggest, most important step we have ever taken to combat climate change.” “Climate change is not a problem for another generation. Not anymore,”
Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential candidate said she will defend these plans if she is elected to replace Mr Obama.
She said “it will need defending. Because Republican doubters and defeatists, including every republican candidate for president, won’t offer any credible solution.” “The truth is, they don’t want one.”
Marco Rubio, Republican presidential candidate said the plans would be “catastrophic”, whilst former Florida governor Jeb Bush said the plans were “irresponsible and over-reaching.”
This confirms not only what Hillary Clinton has stated but also the huge conflict Obama faces in making these necessary giant steps towards a better future. We can no longer wait for another generation to pick up the pieces, if we can make a difference now why aren’t we?
BBC correspondents say “this emphasis on renewable energy sources marks a significant shift from the earlier version of the plan that sought to speed up a transition from coal-fired power to natural gas plants which emit less carbon dioxide.”
Power stations are the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the US, account for a third of these emissions which makes it appropriate that Obama plans to start there.
It is a breath of fresh air to finally see an authoritative figure who can really make a difference, getting the motions started to securing a future. It is a shame the UK government are not yet doing the same but maybe these plans will influence a global change, showing other nations it can be done.