Obama victory ensures climate discussion, but action will require unity

7 November 2012

The Climate Group congratulated President Obama on his election victory and called for renewed action to address climate change and its devastating impacts.

Amy Davidsen, US Executive Director for The Climate Group said: “We congratulate the President on his re-election, and look forward to working with him and his cabinet to meet our shared goal of addressing climate change in a way that will help grow the US economy. The business community now stands ready to help him adopt the policies needed to meet his commitment of reducing emissions 83% by 2050, in order to avoid the worst impacts of climate change."

The Climate Group pledged to support stronger legislation and other initiatives around climate change.

Evan Juska, Head of US Policy at The Climate Group said: “In his first term, the President came into office with a mandate for change. But today, his mandate will be to begin to unite what is currently a very divided country. Only then will the cooperation needed to solve tough issues like climate change become possible once again.”

Climate policy options currently under consideration for President Obama’s second term include a national clean energy standard, which would require utilities to source 84% of their electricity from clean sources by 2035; a revenue-neutral carbon tax with revenues raised going to reduce other existing taxes, such as personal and corporate income tax; and continued regulation of carbon dioxide emissions by the Environmental Protection Agency, which recently proposed rules that would effectively ban the construction of new coal-fired power plants in the US.

The success of any of these policies will also require a greater level of interest and concern about climate change on the part of the US public. While the extreme weather of the past two years has caused an uptick in Americans’ awareness of the issue, this trend will need to continue in order to provide the motivation required for Republicans and Democrats in Congress to work together towards a solution.

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