Ahead of his presidential trip, Obama said in his weekly radio address on Saturday that “Climate change can no longer be denied – or ignored … The world is looking to the United States – to us – to lead.”
“Today, there’s no greater threat to our planet than climate change,” Obama stressed.
The president added that the Everglades is one of the most special places in the country, but it’s also one of the most fragile to the ever changing Earth’s temperature. He stressed “Rising sea levels are putting a national treasure — and an economic engine for the South Florida tourism industry — at risk.”
Obama called 2014 as the planet’s warmest year on record, and said that 14 of the 15 hottest years on record took place in this century that resulted to more violent storms, deeper droughts, and more intense wildfires.
In response, Obama said US is cutting carbon pollution, and working on a global agreement with other nations on emissions cuts. At the same, it is working on clean energy sources like wind power and solar power, and requiring better fuel efficiency standards in cars and trucks.
The president said carbon pollution has fallen by 10 percent since 2007, and that the United States committed to double reductions in an historic deal with China. China committed for the first time to curtail pollutants.
The president statement comes after a three-judge panel from the Court of Appeals for Washington D.C. heard oral arguments on Thursday on a legal challenge to a proposed rule by the Obama administration to cut down carbon emissions from power plants.
The Obama administration says the proposal would reduce carbon emissions linked to climate change, but opponents say it would force coal-fired power plants to shut down and result in higher electricity prices.