Washington: President Barack Obama unveiled a plan to reduce emissions from coal-fired power plants citing how global climate changes were affecting the world with more storms, droughts and floods and decimating crops from India to Africa.
“This is our moment to get this right and leave something better for our kids,” he said calling his Clean Power Plan “the single most important step America has ever taken in the fight against global climate change.”
“Climate change is no longer just about the future we’re predicting for our children or our grandchildren, it’s about the reality that we’re living with every day – right now,” said Obama pointing to stronger storms, deeper droughts and more frequent floods.
White House says the revised Clean Power Plan seeks to increase the required cuts in carbon emissions from the power sector, demanding they be slashed 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030-up from the 30 percent requirement in the original draft regulation.
Obama said such a reduction means “we’ll be keeping 870 million tons of carbon dioxide pollution out of our atmosphere.”
Earlier addressing the Young African Leaders Initiative Presidential Summit Town Hall, Obama said “Global climate change will affect everybody.”
“And because the changes could be so severe, frankly, the countries that are most likely to be adversely affected are the poorer countries because they have less margin for error.”
“So if you have changing weather patterns in, let’s say, the Indian Subcontinent, and the monsoon rains shift, suddenly you could have millions of people whose crops completely fail,” Obama said.
“Well, the same is true in Africa-if rain patterns and drought starts changing, subsistence farmers are completely vulnerable,” he said.
Asked how Obama’s Clean Power Plan relates to world climate summit in Paris in December, his press secretary Josh Earnest cited “lot of success” in getting significant commitments from several countries including India, China and Brazil.
“We have had a lot of success in getting other countries to make significant commitments alongside the United States when we make important domestic commitments when it comes to reducing carbon pollution.”
During Obama’s visit to China last November, China had made a significant commitment to “cap carbon emissions in China on or around 2030.”
“We saw a similar dynamic when President (Dilma) Rousseff of Brazil visited the White House, where both Presidents made a commitment to reduce carbon emissions,” he said.
“We saw commitments from India when it comes to the deployment of renewable energy technology.”