Recently, U.S. President Barack Obama unveiled the latest strategy/proposal on his administration’s plans to address the growing issue of global climate change.
Obama’s plan aims to enforce “tough new rules” regarding carbon pollution, with the end goal of protecting the health of our planet, our economy, and future generations. For those of you who don’t have time to read through the entire proposal, we’ve outlined some of the highlights of Obama’s comprehensive climate change plan, below.
Directs the EPA to work closely with existing power plants on a statewide and industry-specific level, in order to establish strict, new carbon pollution standards. These standards also apply to any power plants to be built in the future.
2) Allocates up to $8 billion in “loan guarantee authority” for a wide range of fossil fuel/efficiency programs. These programs will support new, innovative sustainability projects.
3) By 2020, aims to power 6 million homes through the efforts/results of renewables projects.
4) Expands upon the “Better Building Challenge,” which focuses on assisting commercial, industrial, and multi-family buildings to cut pollution/waste and become more energy efficient.
5) Defines a goal to cut carbon pollution by at least 3 billion metric tons by 2020.
6) Commits to partner with industry/stakeholders to devise improved, fuel economy standards. The plan also aims to reduce reliance on foreign oil in the next 5-10 years.
7) Aims to reduce pollution of hydrofluorocarbons (highly-potent greenhouse gases). This part of Obama’s plan also commits to protect U.S forests and critical landscapes, and to develop a “comprehensive methane strategy.”
8) Directs agencies to modernize programs and policies for climate-resilient investments. In addition, the plan establishes short-term task forces on state and local levels. These task forces are to advise the Federal Government on key actions for protecting our country from the effects of climate change.
9) Assists the regions affected by Hurricane Sandy to ensure protection and to encourage preventative measures against future natural disasters.
10) Through a public-private partnership with the healthcare industry, creates sustainable hospitals in areas affected by climate change.
11) Prepares farmers, ranchers, and landowners with science-based, specifically tailored knowledge/applications to maintain agricultural productivity while utilizing sustainable technologies.
12) To help prevent the devastating consequences of drought and wildfire, launches a National Drought Resilience Partnership and expands forest restoration efforts.
13) Provides appropriate tools/info to individual state, local, and private-sector leaders so that they can adequately deal with climate preparedness.
14) Proposes major, new, international initiatives with China, India, and other “major emitting countries.”
15) Calls for the end of U.S. government support for new, coal-fired power plants overseas. Exceptions include coal-powered plants with the highest efficiency levels in the world’s poorest countries, and plants that utilize “carbon capture” and sequestration technologies.
16) Expands local/community planning and response methods.