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CLIMATE ACTION PROGRAMME


28 January 2010

State of Union coloured green

Yesterday, Barrack Obama pledged to channel funds into the creation of clean energy during his first State of the Union address.

Clean coal, nuclear, wind, biofuels and solar energy are the technologies favoured by the US President, and he argued that investment in clean energy will lift the United States out of recession and pull the economy upwards.

"The nation that leads the clean energy economy will be the nation that leads the global economy. And America must be that nation,"

Obama called amidst mixed congressional applause. And, although Obama and the Democrats recently lost a seat in the Senate to the Republicans, the Republican response indicates some willingess to cooperate.

Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell noted, "Advances in technology can unleash more natural gas, nuclear, wind, coal, alternative energy that will lower your utility bills." Obama's comprehensive energy and climate bill passed through the House of Representatives last year, and awaits Senate approval.

In Ohio, the state hit hardest by the decline of American manufacturing, the people are facing an unemployment rate of 11%. But that job loss has helped begin the movement for job retraining and innovation, positioning the Buckeye state favourably to build clean and renewable energy-particularly in the coal, wind and solar sectors.

Political leaders claim the new technology will take time and additional incentives to attract necessary investors. The president's proposed energy and climate bill should help spur investment.

On a global level, nations believe congressional approval of the bill will be imperative in order for the UN to create a tougher and more effective climate deal.

The bill would guarantee that the US will uphold its Copenhagen pledge to reduce carbon emissions by 17% by the year 2020.

As Obama continues to push for the Senate to approve the bill, we will have to wait and see: what attitudes will prevail on Capitol Hill? Bipartisan politics and special interest lobbyists? Or compromise and reform?

 

Author: Michael Good | Climate Action

Images Provided by: Pete Souza | Wikipedia; warrenski | Flickr

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