During a trying week of uncertainty in Washington, when lawmakers of both parties publicly stated they doubted a climate and energy bill would be considered this year, climate action advocates were heartened by President Barack Obama’s State of the Union on Wednesday night.
The president affirmed his 2008 election year commitment to pursuing clean energy innovation and industrial development, and climate action because it is essential to American jobs, prosperity, and security. President Obama also commended the House for approving its version of the climate and energy bill last June and said he was “eager to help advance the bipartisan effort in the Senate.”
Noting critics of climate science and the much disputed assertion that the expense of cooling the planet was too high, the president said, “Even if you doubt the evidence, providing incentives for energy efficiency and clean energy are the right thing to do for our future because the nation that leads the clean energy economy will be the nation that leads the global economy. And America must be that nation.”
There was action globally, too. With the deadline for engaging the Copenhagen Accord just three days away, at least 23 nations — including the United States with an official submission just moments ago — have publicly announced their intent to reduce carbon emissions or take other actions to respond to global climate change. The growing list of countries associating themselves with the accord indicates an increasing level of commitment from across the globe to reduce carbon emissions. However, countries have yet to answer the question regarding the basic contradiction looming over the entire accord process: What steps will members take if the targets result in a temperature increase of greater than the two-degree threshold inscribed in the accord? USCAN is tracking the number of countries associating with the Copenhagen Accord. The tally changes daily so check back regularly.
Here in the United States, the American grassroots continues to be a hotbed of clean energy innovation and resistance to the fossil fuel industry’s bid to expand its infrastructure. See our Energy Rebellion report for continuing penetrating coverage of what’s happening on the ground outside Washington.
Lastly as one more busy year picks up momentum, the US Climate Action Network welcomes six new member organizations – Environmental Investigation Agency, Earth Day Network, Green For All, The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, North Carolina Conservation Network, and the Will Steger Foundation. All are first-rate organizations and we are so pleased they’ve come aboard.
Talk to you next week, Keith