Obamas klimaplan

25. juni 2013


.
Her til aften dansk tid fremlagde Obama sin klimaplan ved en tale ved Georgetown University: “The question is not whether we need to act,” sagde han: “The question is whether we will have the courage to act before it’s too late.” Som sædvanligt er han sublimt veltalende, og har får faktisk på lidt under en time givet en ganske klar analyse af, hvorfor det er en god beslutning for USA at gå målrettet ind i en omstillingsøkonomi.

Selve klimaplanen blev frigivet tidligere på dagen – et 21 sider langt dokument, som kan downloades herfra. Og talens fulde transskription kan læses her.

Obamas klimaplan sætter ind på en lang række områder:

  • Directs the EPA to issue draft emission rules for existing power plants by June 2014, to be finalized by June 2015.
  • Asks the EPA to “work expeditiously” on finalizing rules for new power plants that the agency issued in March 2012.
  • Pledges that the federal government will draw 20 percent of its power from renewable sources by 2020.
  • Sets a goal of permitting an additional 10 gigawatts of renewable energy on public lands by 2020.
  • Sets a goal of putting 100 megawatts of renewable energy on federally subsidized housing by 2020.
  • Creates a new, $8 billion loan guarantee program for advanced fossil fuel projects at the Department of Energy.
  • Directs the EPA and the Department of Transportation to work on fuel economy standard for heavy-duty trucks, buses, and vans for after 2018.
  • Sets a goal of cutting at least 3 billion tons of carbon pollution by 2030 through improvements in energy efficiency standards.
  • Calls for an end to US funding for fossil fuel energy projects overseas unless they include carbon capture technology.

Klimaplanen rummer også en klimatilpasningsdel – hvilket efter et år med oversvømmelser, tornadoer, tørke og skovbrande i hidtil uset omfang burde give genklang langt ind i ellers republikanske rækker. Planen skitserer følgende indsatser:

  • Directs federal agencies to identify and support “climate resilient investments” and remove policies that increase vulnerabilities.
  • Establishes a Task Force on Climate Preparedness that includes state, local, and climate leaders, which will help identify ways the federal government can help support localities.
  • Creates seven Regional Climate Hubs through the Department of Agriculture that will work with farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners as well as universities and other research organizations to support climate resilience.
  • Launches a National Drought Resilience Partnership that will work across agencies to help address drought-related risks.
  • Directs federal agencies to update flood-risk standards for all federally funded projects to account for sea level rise and extreme weather.
  • Sets up a Climate Data Initiative that will be used to share federal climate data. This, the administration says, will allow federal and private partners access to data that can be used create appropriate response plans and tools.

Nøgternt set er det ikke den optimale indsats, Obama fremlægger. Men med et republikansk flertal i kongressen, som er hysterisk imod enhver ansats til en klimaindsats, er det den mulige kunsts klimaplan – en mosaik af initiativer, som Obama kan gennemføre administrativt, uden om senat og kongres, og som ikke bringer USAs stadig spinkle økonomiske opsving i fare. Efter mange års tøven står man med en god fornemmelse af en plan, som kan understøtte USAs begyndende omstillingsproces. Al Gore kaldte umiddelbart efter Obamas tale for den bedste amerikanske præsident-tale om klimaudfordringen nogensinde.

Planen er kommenteret vidt og bredt, og jeg vil nederest samle links til yderligere kommentarer og perspektiver. I første omgang vil jeg bringe klimaforskeren Michael Manns umiddelbare respons på Facebook, som ganske godt sammenfatter reaktionerne:

“Ultimately, we need a comprehensive energy and climate policy that prices carbon pollution and levels the playing field for renewable sources of energy that are not degrading our climate and planet. But given that we have an intransigent congress (the current House Science committee leadership continues to deny even the existence of human-caused climate change), the president has been forced to turn to executive actions. His call for carbon emission limits on “all” coal-fired power plants, not just newly built plants, is a bold step forward. It will go some way to stemming our growing carbon emissions, and the impact they are having on our climate.

The President’s comments about the Keystone XL pipeline are also encouraging. He indicated that he will block the pipeline if it is going to lead to increased carbon emissions. Since all objective analyses indicated that the construction of the pipeline “will” lead to increased carbon emissions (because it will lead to far greater extraction of Canadian tar sands), this should translate to a decision not to move forward on that project.

Finally, the president spelled out promising ways forward to  (a) introduce greater incentives for renewable, non-carbon based energy, (b) reduce energy usage/improve energy efficiency, (c) encourage developing nations to meet growing energy demand through renewable energy, and (d) adapt to those climate change impacts which are already locked in and unavoidable.

All in all, it is the most aggressive and promising climate plan to come out of the executive branch in years, and President Obama should be applauded for the bold leadership he has shown in confronting the climate change threat head on.”

Det var ikke ventet, at Obama ville berøre Keystone XL-problematikken. Men uden at afsløre sin beslutning, sagde han, at: “Allowing the Keystone pipeline to be built requires a finding that doing so would be in our nation’s interest” … “And our national interest will be served only if this project does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution. The net effects of the pipeline’s impact on our climate will be absolutely critical to determining whether this project is allowed to go forward.”

Hermed har han gjort godkendelsen af Keystone XL til et spørgsmål om dens klimaeffekt frem for, om den snævert set er god for den amerikanske økonomi og beskæftigelse. På den baggrund er det for de fleste iagttagere nærmest utænkeligt, at den får hans velsignelse. Her advarer POLITICO dog mod, at Obamas State Department rent faktisk har fremlagt dokumentation for, at Keystone XL opfylder Obamas kriterier – en dokumentation som til gengæld er blevet voldsomt kritiseret.

Obama meldte også klart ud, at USA efter nogle ganske valne år ville vise det nødvendige lederskab i de globale klimaforhandlinger. Og der synes at være vægt bag ordene. På det seneste er der etableret direkte klimadrøftelser mellem både USA og Kina og USA og Indien.

I dag er derfor en stor dag for mulighederne for at samle verden om en global klimaindsats.

Der er masser af skær forude. Klimafornægtelsesindustrien vil ikke holde inde, tværtimod må man forvente støjniveauet tage til i de kommende måneder. Og republikanerne vil givet gøre hvad de kan for at forpurre Obamas klimainitiativ, herunder betvivle det retsmæssige i en række af indsatserne.  Men det synes umiddelbart som om, at Obama – som han lovede ved sit valg til anden periode – har gjort sit hjemmearbejde og har lyttet rundt i en fase for derefter at lave en solid klimastrategi.

Hele den måde, han har håndteret præsentationen på, er tydeligvis gjort ud fra et ønske om at søge at samle nationen om en stor, fælles indsats. Oven på dagens tale er der således fra mange sider en god fornemmelse af, at en af de helt store klumper i klimaudfordringen, USA, endelig er ved at komme i bevægelse i den rigtige retning.

Om det er too little too late eller en god begyndelse er en anden sag. Der er kun få tal i planen, som dog menes at muliggøre den reduktion på 17% i 2020 i forhold til 2005, som Obama lovede i København i 2009. Men USAs udledninger er i dag stadig 9% over 1990, som typisk bruges som basisår, så disse 17% bringer kun lige akkurat USAs udledninger tilbage under udledningerne i 1990. Så det er de første vaklende baby-skridt, vi ser, ikke en plan for fuld omstilling af USA til vedvarende energi. Connie Hedegaard siger da også ifølge politiken, at der skal meget mere til fra amerikanernes side, hvis det skal lykkes at få den nødvendige klimaaftale på plads i 2015. Og LDC og AOSIS, sammenslutningerne af hhv. verdens fattigste lande og verdens mest udsatte øriger, vil spontant sige at dette er far too little too late.

Ved sin tiltrædelse i 2008 havde Obama og demokraterne planer om en stor samlet klimaplan med en 80% reduktion i 2050, men det gik af mange grunde i vasken. Hvis Obama igen skal nå frem til en situation, hvor han kan gennemføre en egentlig klimalovgivning med ambitiøse reduktionsmål og en solid pris på CO2-udledninger så bliver amerikanerne nødt til at vælge en kongres uden det nuværende hylekor af klimafornægtere, finansieret af den fossile industri. Der er valg til kongressen igen i 2014, men det amerikanske valgkredssystem er indrettet, så republikanerne via små flertal i et stort antal landkredse endda har kunnet sikre et komfortabelt flertal i kongressen. Så der skal flyttes rigtig mange stemmer i traditionelt republikanske områder, hvis USA igen skal have en demokratisk styret kongres.

Og derfor er det vigtigste ved Obamas tale og den nu fremlagt klimaplan ikke procenterne og de tekniske aspekter, men det, at han søgte – og langt hen ad vejen formåede – at ændre narrativet omkring klimaudfordringen fra at handle om anstrengelser, restriktioner og katastrofer til at handle om muligheder og håb for fremtiden – et grønt USA, som alle kunne være stolte af. Han udfoldede en vision om “a low-carbon, clean energy economy [som] can be an engine of growth for decades to come,” og efterlyste amerikanernes hjælp til at gøre det muligt: “I want America to build that engine. I want America to build that future – right here in the United States of America.”

Men hånden på hjertet: Hvorfor har det taget Obama så længe at komme hertil? De administrative justeringer, som han nu samler i sin klimaplan, kunne stort set lige så godt have været gennemført i starten af 2009.

Se øvrige blog-indlæg om Obamas fremlæggelse af klimaplanen: Obama varmer op til klimaindsats, Obamas klimaplan, Obama om Keystone XL, samt Obama følger op.

Se blog-indlæg tagged , , .

Remarks by the President on Climate Change, Georgetown University, Washington DC, (fuld transskription af Obamas tale) White House 25.06.2013.

UNFCCC Executive Secretary reaction to the Climate Action Plan of US President Barack Obama, UNFCCC, Bonn 25.06.2013 (pdf).

Daren BUtler: U.N. climate chief welcomes Obama plan, wants U.S. energy czar, Reuters 27.06.2013.

UN climate change body applauds US climate change strategy, UN News Centre 25.06.2013.

Saleemul Huq: Why I cannot congratulate President Obama on his climate plan, RTCC 28.06.2013.

Marin Lidegaard: Possible And Profitable Action On Climate Change: Danish Minister Praises Obama’s New Plan, Climate Progress 26.06.2013.

Pia Buhl Andersen: Obama satser på grøn energi: Vi er nødt til at gøre noget, Politiken 26.06.2013.

Bo Lidegaard: Obama er tilbage i kampen mod global opvarmning, (leder) Politiken 27.06.2013.

Poul Henning Kamp: Obamas krig mod kulstof, Ingeniøren 26.05.2013.

Statement by President Barroso and Climate Action Commissioner Connie Hedegaard on President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, (pressemeddelelse) europa.eu 25.06.2013.

Connie Hedegaard til Obama: Der skal mere til, Politiken 25.06.2013.

Søvndal roser Obama for klimaudspil, (Ritzau) Politiken 26.06.2013.

David Roberts: No-drama Obama unveils series of modest, sensible steps on climate change, Grist 25.06.2013.

Kate Sheppard: Obama: “We Don’t Have Time for a Meeting of the Flat-Earth Society”, Mother Jones 25.06.2013.

Forum: How Daring is  Obama’s New Climate Plan? Yale Environment 360 22.07.2013.

Kevin Drum: A Carbon Tax Is the Big Issue Burbling Under the Surface of Obama’s Plan to Regulate Power Plants, Mother Jones 25.06.2013.

Chris Mooney: How President Obama’s Climate Speech Could Have Rocked Even More, Mother Jones 27.06.2013.

Elizabeth Kolbert: Power Politics: Obama’s Overdue Climate-Change Speech, The New Yorker 25.06.2013.

Joe Romm: ‘Invest, Divest’: Obama Goes Full Climate Hawk In Speech Unveiling Plan To Cut Carbon Pollution, Climate Progress 25.06.2013.

Ryan Koronowsky: Obama Will Approve Keystone Only If It ‘Does Not Significantly Exacerbate’ Carbon Pollution, Climate Progress 25.06.2013.

Bill Becker: Don’t Let  Congress Off The Hook On Climate Change, Climate Progress 25.06.2013.

Joe Romm: Moral Majority: Team Obama Finally Embraces The Winning Argument For Climate Action, Climate Progress 27.06.2013.

David Biello: Obama Has a Plan for Climate, What If It Involves Tar Sands? Scientific American 26.05.2013.

Shakuntala Makhijani & Michael Weber: President Obama’s Climate Action Plan: A Good Start To Hopefully An Even Better Future, WorldWatch Insitute 26.06.2013.

Kevin Grandia: Is Obama’s Faith in Carbon Capture a Technicolor Dream? DeSmogBlog 26.06.2013.

Brendan Demelle: President Obama Pegs Fate of Keystone XL On Climate Change Impact; Slams Climate Denial Flat Earth Society, DeSmogBlog 25.06.2013.

Steve Horn: Obama Climate Plan Touts Gas Fracking As “Transition Fuel,” Doubling Down on Methane Risk, DeSmogBlog 25.05.2013.

Stacy Feldman & Maria Gallucci: Artful and Delphic: Obama on Keystone Pipeline Is All Things at Once, InsideClimate News 27.06.2013.

Mat Hope: Obama’s ‘all of the above’ climate action plan sidesteps Congress to force US action, The Carbon Brief 25.06.2013.

Kevin Kennedy & Kristin Meek: By the Numbers: The Economic Benefits of a National Climate Action Plan, WRI Insights 28.06.2013.

David Waskow: What President Obama’s National Climate Plan Tells Us About International Climate Negotiations, WRI Insights 27.06.2013.

Raymond  T.  Pierrehumbert: The Best and Worst Parts of Obama’s Climate Plan, Slate 28.06.2013.

US best-we-can plan not good enough to change the climate, Energy Research Center, University of Cape Town 01.07.2013.

Jordan Weissmann: Why Obama’s Climate Change Plan Is Hopeless Without China, The Atlantic 25.06.2013.

Obama’s Environmental Speech Indicates Keystone XL Pipeline To Be Approved, (RT) Eurasia Review 25.06.2013.

Sandy Dechert: What Obama said about climate change when you weren’t listening, Examiner 26.06.2013.

Chris Williams: Mass Protest, Not a Speech, Is Needed to Address Climate Change, TrouthOut 30.06.2013.

Mark Beeson: Climate change policy at the mercy of popular politics, The Drum 02.07.2013.

Brian Handwerk: Obama Unveils Climate Change Strategy: End of Line for U.S. Coal Power? National Gographic 25.06.2013.

Michael Grunwald: Obama’s Climate Words Are Nice. His Climate Deeds Are Even Nicer, Time 25.06.2013.

Sam Stein: Obama: Keystone XL Should Not Be Approved If It Will Increase Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Huffington Post 25.06.2013.

Lucia Graves: Obama Climate Change 2013 Policy Speech Outlines Executive Orders, Huffington Post 25.06.2013.

Al Gore: The Best Presidential Address on Climate Change Ever, Huffington Post 25.06.2013.

Earl Blumenauer: The Moral and Economic Case for Climate Action, Huffington Post 25.06.2013.

Michael Brune: Obama on Climate: Back in the Game, Huffington Post 25.06.2013.

Frances Beinecke: Obama’s Climate Action Plan Will Protect Our Health and Our Communities, Huffington Post 25.06.2013.

Philip Radford: President Unveils ‘Obama Climate Pollution Test’ for Future Energy Projects, Huffington Post 25.06.2013.

Josh Lederman: Obama Climate Change Push Faces Ticking Clock, (AP) Huffington Post 25.06.2013.

Gene Karpinski: Time to Tackle Climate Change, Huffington Post 25.06.2013.

Dominique Browning: Stopping Climate Change Starting Now, Huffington Post 25.06.2013.

Obama’s Climate Change Quotes: Best Lines From Georgetown Speech, Huffington Post 26.06.2013.

Rahm Emanuel: Chicago Supports President Obama on Climate Change, Huffington Post 26.06.2013.

Keystone XL Opponents Say Obama Climate Plan No Tradeoff For Pipeline, (Reuters) Huffington Post 26.06.2013.

Andrew Schwartz: The Morals of Climate Change, Huffington Post 26.06.2013.

Susan Casey-Lefcovitz: Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline Fails Presidential Climate Test, Huffington Post 26.06.2013.

Saki Knafo & Ben Hallman: Obama Climate Change Proposals Won’t Be Job-Killers, Experts Say, Huffington Post 26.06.2013.

Jake Smidt: Facilitating International Climate Action through President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, Huffington Post 27.06.2013.

Kevin Begos: Obama Fracking Support In Climate Speech Worries Environmental Groups, Huffington Post 27.06.2013.

Peter Fox-Penner: President Obama’s Climate Change Action Plan: Positives and One Big Regret Versus the Last Time Around, Huffington Post 28.06.2013.

Matthew Brown: Obama Climate Change Push Puts Coal Country On Defensive, Huffington Post 01.07.2013.

Lucia Graves: Koch Brothers Pledge Helped Kill Climate Change Legislation: Report, Huffington Post 02.07.2013.

Obama and climate change: fresh air, (leder) The Guardian 25.06.2013.

Obama’s climate speech: ‘It is time for Congress to share his ambition’, The Guardian 25.06.2013.

Suzanne Goldenberg: Barack Obama pledges to bypass Congress to tackle climate change, The Guardian 25.06.2013.

Suzanne Goldenberg: Obama to unveil first-ever US climate change strategy, The Guardian 25.06.2013.

Dana Nuticelli: President Obama acts on climate change by enforcing the law, The Guardian 25.06.2013.

Leo Hickman: Is Obama’s climate plan enough to ’stop the planet being beyond fixing’? The Guardian 26.05.2013.

Nafeez Ahmed: Obama’s fracked-up climate strategy will guarantee global warming disaster, The Guardian 25.06.2013.

Graham Readfearn: Obama’s rhetoric makes climate action a simpler question of right and wrong, The Guardian 02.07.2013.

Mark Landler & John M. Broder: Obama Outlines Ambitious Plan to Cut Greenhouse Gases, New York Times 25.06.2013.

Jason Bordoff & Michael Levi: Bittersweet Achievement on Climate, New York Times 25.06.2013.

Paul Krugman: Invest, Divest and Prosper, New York Times 27.06.2013.

Juliet Eilperin: Is Obama waging a ‘war on coal’? Washington Post 25.06.2013.

Juliet Eilperin: On climate change, Obama bypasses Congress with ambitious plan, Washington post 25.06.2013.

Plan B for climate change, (leder) Washington Post 25.06.2013.

Brad Plumer: Obama tries the kitchen-sink approach to global warming, Washington Post 25.06.2013.

Brad Plumer: The U.S. will stop financing coal plants abroad. That’s a huge shift, Washington Post 27.06.2013.

Michael Shellenberger & Ted Nordhaus: Obama and the New Climate Change Paradigm, The EnergyCollective, 28.06.2013.

Deborah Zabarenko: Obama plan offers help to U.S. cities on climate’s front lines, Reuters 25.06.2013.

Talia Buford: Obama hints at Keystone approval, Politico 25.06.2013.

Andrew Restuccia: President Obama’s climate speech: 10 takeaways, Politico 25.06.2013.

Jennifer Epstein: Obama urges action on climate, Politico 25.06.2013.

Dylan Byers: Keystone catches reporters off-guard, Politico 25.06.2013.

Annie Rose-Strasser: Cable News Virtually Ignores Obama’s Major Climate Speech, Climate Progress 25.06.2013.

John H. Cushman Jr.: President’s Climate Policy Speech Soars. On the Ground, Obstacles Await, InsideClimate News 25.06.2013.

John Parnell: Obama Keystone XL caution piles pressure on State Department, RTCC 26.06.2013.

Obama climate change plan: latest reaction, RTCC 25.06.2013.

John Parnell: Obama plan could define 2015 UN climate deal, RTCC 30.06.2013.

Obama launches $7bn African energy plan, RTCC 01.07.2013.

Andrew C. Revkin: Obama’s Ambitious Global Warming Action Plan, New York Times 25.06.2013.

Ed King: Comment: Obama raised expectations, now he must meet them, RTCC 26.06.2013.

Ed King: Obama promises to ‘cut carbon pollution’ in new Climate Action Plan, (med link til klimaplanen nederst) RTCC 25.06.2013.

Kevin Drum: A Carbon Tax Is the Big Issue Burbling Under the Surface of Obama’s Plan to Regulate Power Plants, Mother Jones 25.06.2013.

Ed King: Obama set to reveal new climate change plans on Tuesday, RTCC 25.06.2013.

Darren Goode: President Obama’s race against time on climate, Politico 24.06.2013.

Darren Goode: GOP climate tack: Talk jobs, not science, Politico 27.06.2013.

Jennifer Ludden: Congress Not Likely To Pass Sweeping Climate Legislation, (audio) NPR 24.06.2013.

Mark Drajem: Obama Raises the Cost of Carbon Emissions 60 Percent, Bloomberg 20.06.2013.

Claire Thompson: House responds to Obama’s climate plan with an offshore drilling plan, Grist 29.06.2013.

 

Share