President Obama hasn’t given people a lot of hope as far as his climate change policies and goals. With no mention of it on the campaign trail, it was a relief to hear him mention it in his re-election speech, and it’s even more of a relief to hear what he has just said in his interview with TIME for his Person of the Year award.
In the interview, Obama said that the economy, immigration, and climate change would be at the top of his agenda for his second term. Since then the tragic shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School also occurred, which has put gun control near the top of that list as well.
He gave credit to his daughters when explaining why he feels climate change is such an important topic. “I think for this country and the world to ask some very tough questions about what are we leaving behind, that weighs on you,” he said. “And not to mention the fact I think that generation is much more environmentally aware than previous generations.”
He still didn’t lay out any specifics, but after Hurricane Sandy he has mentioned that he will be taking action to curb emissions, such as finalizing vehicle fuel efficiency standards and putting pollution limits in place for coal-fired power plants. The superstorm did have a lot to do with his decision on prioritizing climate change, as well as the drought and wildfires that swept through the western parts of the country this year.
Of course it would be nice to have more solid policies tearing through the House, but the fact that he is talking serious about it is a great start, especially since it’s one way to hold himself accountable for what people expect from him. What kind of action do you think he will take between now and 2016?
Image by US Air Force: President Barack Obama