US President Barack Obama unveiled a new Clean Power Plan this week. It aims to cut greenhouse gases from US power stations by nearly a third in 15 years – a decision which has split politicians, the industry, and the general public.
Opponents to the plan say that Obama has “declared a war on coal”, which currently provides more than a third of the country’s electricity supply. But Obama has said: “I’m convinced no challenge provides a greater threat to the future of the planet.”
He continued: “There is such a thing as being too late.”
The revised plan will place increased focus on wind and solar power, as well as other renewable sources, and will aim to cut carbon emissions from the power sector by 32 per cent by 2030 (based on 2005 levels). Obama compared the plan’s environmental impact to taking 166 million cars off the road, and dubbed the plan a “moral obligation”.
He said: “America leads the way forward… that’s what this plan is about. This is our moment to get something right and get something right for our kids.”
Under these changes, each state will have to submit a plan by September 2016. This comes ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference COP 21 being held in Paris in November, where the President will meet with other leaders to discuss climate change plans. The Obama administration wants this plan to boost the progress in Paris – to set an example – and encourage other countries to submit their own plans.
But will this be the game changer that they hope it will be? Only time will tell.
Aspectus’ energy team will be blogging about the developments – including during COP 21 – so watch this space for updates.