US President Barack Obama has used his State of the Union address to urge Congress to revive a national climate bill that collapsed in the Senate in 2011, and to wean the US economy from its dependence on fossil fuels.
Blogging live from the speech, Guardian US environment correspondent Suzanne Goldenberg said “tonight’s speech erases any last doubt that Obama is going to use his political capital to get America to act on climate change.”
For the second time since inauguration day, Obama reaffirmed the science behind climate change and described climate action as a moral duty. “For the sake of our children and our future, we must do more to combat climate change,” Obama said.
Obama’s much-anticipated speech did not disappoint the US clean energy industry, giving extensive focus to renewable energy as well.
He urged the Congress to act on a market-based carbon emissions policy, warning that failure to do so would result in him putting in place his own executive measures.
“If Congress won’t act soon to protect future generations, I will. I will direct my Cabinet to come up with executive actions we can take, now and in the future, to reduce pollution, prepare our communities for the consequences of climate change, and speed the transition to more sustainable sources of energy.”
In addition he proposed channeling some of the revenue from oil and gas taxes to an ‘Energy Security Trust’ tasked with shifting cars and trucks “off oil for good”.
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