This coming Tuesday, June 25th, President Obama will deliver a major address on climate change: what the US government will be doing further to drive greenhouse gas reductions, how it will help in adapting to the impacts of climate change, and how it will be working with the international community to confront the climate crisis.
Reuters reported here the other day that a blue ribbon panel, the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), has laid the foundation for the plan. PCAST is led by the President’s chief science advisor, John Holdren, a climate hawk. This past March, the panel made their recommendations to the President. In sum, they are:
- Focus on national preparedness for climate change;
- Continue efforts to decarbonize the economy, with emphasis on the electricity sector;
- Level the playing field for clean-energy and energy-efficiency technologies by removing regulatory obstacles, addressing market failures, adjusting tax policies, and providing time-limited subsidies for clean energy when appropriate;
- Sustain research on next-generation clean-energy technologies and remove obstacles for their eventual deployment;
- Take additional steps to establish U.S. leadership on climate change internationally; and
- Conduct an initial Quadrennial Energy Review.
As I said here the other day after President Obama’s speech in Berlin, I have noted all along the administration’s strong efforts on climate and energy. Yes, there have been flaws, such as an over-emphasis on nuclear power and what might be regarded as more reliance on oil and biofuels than is remotely healthy, not only for the environment but for the economy. Nevertheless, from his appointments, to his much-improved CAFE standards, to the heavy lifting of building bilateral, multilateral and international agreements on clean energy and the environment, to the work of the agencies in promoting renewables and energy efficiency, I have lauded the administration for its fine, hard work.
Here is the President giving us a bit of a taste for what we’ll be hearing on Tuesday.