Climate Change: Time To Act Now

Posted by Todd Stern
April 22, 2009

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.



Maryland, USA
April 22, 2009

Patrick in Maryland writes:

Hi, People's of the States Department,Happy EarthDay ...:)

I think Climate Change is very Important and it's good to hear we're putting more money towards slowing it.

I hope your meetings go well, and you come up with some good Idea's on slowing Global Warming.

Thanks for posting Todd ...Cya .....:)

United States
April 22, 2009

William in U.S.A. writes:

Ok I agree man has added to greenhouse gases. But is it simply that which creates this global warming? Actually data since 1999 shows a cooling trend. No computer model can show the changes accurately that was depicted by Al Gore.

How come not that long ago before industrialized man there was farm land and most of Greenland was green? How come bacteria in polar ice caps give grand evidence many warming trends have come and gone over the centuries. Why is it that NASA has indicated Mars has had global warming and cooling trends? Don't think man had a lot of influence there.

I agree the environment could be much better managed. However trying to make radical change under the fear of man made global warming seems a bit extreme.

New York, USA
April 22, 2009

Ron in New York writes:

EarthDay....starts with your carbon finger-print.

Ohio, USA
April 22, 2009

Tad in Ohio writes:

MAN-MADE GLOBAL WARMING IS A LIE!!! Climates change, the climate cools, it warms, it changes. GET OVER IT!!! Al Gore and his global warming doom and gloom is yet another way to tax people who are already taxed WAY TOO MUCH!!! And what is really heinous about this is the revenues from carbon taxes don't even go to clean up the enviroment that Al Gore and others seem to be so worried about. The money will go to funding more pointless government programs that waste money, don't create jobs, and apologise for America's sins. Or as I like to call these programs, President Obama's agenda. And apparently that seems to be ok with everyone because with more taxpayer money at President Obama's disposal, it can be used "properly" because of course the people who EARNED it have absolutely no idea what to do with it so thankfully the government can step in to lead the way for us.

Progressive T.
District Of Columbia, USA
April 22, 2009

P.T. in Washington, DC writes:

Happy Earth Day! Every day is Earth day. Thank you so much Todd for listening to the youth of our nation, who will be left with the world's problems in the near future. 80% reduction by 2050 is a great step, though this solid percentage scientifically needs to be reached by 2020 if we want to save species and slow the rapid melting of glaciers.

I am glad to see that the State Department is back in the diplomacy business and actually listens to people.

July 31, 2009

Michael in Australia writes:

With all concern, understanding of a problem and respect to opinions expressed, "Fighting the climate change" sounds as much realistic as "Postponing the Sunrise with Better Blinds": carbon tax is some financial tool rather than a core solution towards a natural disaster ("Modern Epoch Air Trading: The Will for Triumph" by M. Kerjman


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