Global environmental challenges
Obama gets high marks for green record: environmental group
President Barack Obama came into office with climate change and the environment on his list of top priorities.
Nearly a year later, one of the top environmental groups in the United States says that Obama has made the grade so far.
In a review of his green record, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) highlighted dozens of moves by Obama at home and abroad. They cited the $50 billion the president put in the stimulus package for cleaner energy and energy efficiency; an executive order for federal agencies to set targets to cut emissions by 2020; and the adoption of strict auto emissions standards, modeled after environmental trendsetter California.
Abroad, the group said that Obama has restored U.S. leadership in the arena of climate change. They pointed to Obama’s efforts to secure an accord at the global climate change summit in Copenhagen — an outcome that the president has said people are justified in being disappointed with — and to partner with China, India and Latin America on clean energy.
Perhaps the brightest spot on Obama’s green record is also his biggest challenge in 2010.
Early on in his first year, the president called on Congress to pass legislation to combat climate change. Getting that legislation passed now sits at the top of the list for his second year at the White House, the group concluded.
(Photo: U.S. President Barack Obama takes a tour of DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center in Arcadia, Florida in October. Photo credit: Reuters/Jim Young)