Along with President Obama’s landmark speech on strong U.S. climate action, the White House has issued a statement with key points about the Administration’s new climate plan. It’s important to know that the actions will not need the approval of the notoriously gridlocked Congress.
The statement asserts that the Obama Administration will build on the efforts already underway by states and communities throughout the US, to cut carbon emissions that cause climate change and threaten public health. It is also hoped that the new climate plan will spark innovation and growth in a wide variety of clean technologies.
Along with addressing the root cause of climate change, the plan puts forward various initiatives to adapt to the impacts of climate change already locked into the climate system, and already being felt across the nation and around the world.
The plans aims to take action in the following ways.
- The Environmental Protection Agency (SPA) will work closely with states, industry and other stakeholders to establish carbon pollution standards for both new and existing power plants.
- The plan sets a goal to reduce carbon pollution by at least 3 billion metric tons cumulatively by 2030 – more than half of the annual carbon pollution from the U.S. energy sector – through efficiency standards set over the course of the Administration for appliances and federal buildings.
- Directs DOI to permit enough renewables projects—like wind and solar – on public lands by 2020 to power more than 6 million homes.
- Commits to developing fuel economy standards for heavy-duty vehicles to save families money at the pump and further reduce reliance on foreign oil and fuel consumption post-2018.
- Expands the President’s Better Building Challenge, focusing on helping commercial, industrial, and multi-family buildings cut waste and become at least 20 percent more energy efficient by 2020.
- Commits to protect our forests and critical landscapes.
- Leverages new opportunities to reduce pollution of highly-potent greenhouse gases known as hydrofluorocarbons.
- Directs agencies to develop a comprehensive methane strategy.
- Makes up to $8 billion in loan guarantee authority available for a wide array of advanced fossil energy and efficiency projects to support investments in innovative technologies.
- Lead International Efforts to Address Global Climate Change. America must help forge a truly global solution to this global challenge by galvanizing international action to significantly reduce emissions.
Climate Change Adaptation
- The plain aims to prepare the United States for the Impacts of climate change that are already being felt across the country.
- Directs agencies to support local climate-resilient investment by removing barriers or counterproductive policies and modernizing programs.
- Establishes a short-term task force of state, local, and tribal officials to advise on key actions the Federal government can take to help strengthen communities on the ground.
- Pilots innovative strategies in the Hurricane Sandy-affected region to strengthen communities against future extreme weather and other climate impacts.
- Building on a new, consistent flood risk reduction standards established for the Sandy-affected region, agencies will update flood-risk reduction standards for all federally funded projects.
- Launch an effort to create sustainable and resilient hospitals in the face of climate change through a public-private partnership with the healthcare industry.
- Maintains agricultural productivity by delivering tailored, science-based knowledge to farmers, ranchers, and landowners.
- Help communities prepare for drought and wildfire by launching a National Drought Resilience Partnership and by expanding and prioritizing forest- and rangeland- restoration efforts to make areas less vulnerable to catastrophic fire.
- Provide climate preparedness tools and information needed by state, local, and private-sector leaders through a centralized “toolkit” and a new Climate Data Initiative.