President Barack Obama unveiled his national plan Tuesday to “reduce carbon pollution and lead global efforts to fight” climate change. He intends to rely heavily on executive actions rather than seeking congressional legislation.
This plan, coming less than a year after Superstorm Sandy’s extensive flooding, also focuses on preparing the United States for the effects of near-term climate change.
The latest Government Accountability Office (GAO) biennial review may have heightened Obama’s urgency, for climate change appeared on its “high risk list” for the first time. The report asserted that climate change presents a “significant financial risk,” and stated Washington needs a “government-wide strategic approach with strong leadership” in response.
Obama’s plan will likely be welcomed by many worldwide, since it comes when the global battle against the huge risks of climate change seems leaderless. For example, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change summit in December made only modest progress, despite the fact that evidence keeps mounting that our planet is heating up.