Todd Stern serves as Special Envoy for Climate Change. He speaks about the "Focus the Nation" Clean Energy Town Halls and the Obama Administration's climate policy.
Hi, I’m Todd Stern, the U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change. I am honored to participate in this nation- wide town hall, and I want to thank Focus the Nation and each of you for the vital work that you are doing on behalf of the environment. Focus the Nation is doing an essential job educating and engaging our young leaders and empowering them to play an active role in shaping our future. The teach-in that you all convened on a thousand campuses last year was a tough act to follow, but you’ve topped that with today’s town hall meetings.
There is no doubt about the urgency of the climate change crisis, and you will not hear anyone in this Administration question the signs. The time for denial, delay and dispute is over, and the time to act is now.
And this Administration is acting. President Obama’s stimulus plan provides $80 billion of new spending and loan guarantees to accelerate our clean energy transformation. In addition, the President has called for a dramatic expansion in our investment in clean energy research and development.
Moreover, the Administration is working actively with key members of Congress to implement a bill to put a cap on carbon pollution that would cut our emissions more than 16% from current levels by 2020 and 80% by 2050.
Along with these efforts at home, I am working hard to demonstrate that America is back and ready to lead in international climate negotiations. Just recently, I returned from a two week conference in Bonn, Germany as part of a series of prep meetings that will culminate in a major summit in Copenhagen at the end of this year.
Climate change is truly a global challenge, and the United States cannot solve it alone. In eight days, we will welcome representatives from 17 major countries accounting for some 80% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions here to the State Department. We look forward to a candid exchange to lay the foundation for what I hope will be success in Copenhagen and begin charting a path to a low carbon future. Climate change affects all of us, and we need each of you to remain committed to this important issue.
Thanks so much, and keep up the good work.