2 July 2013 – US president Barack Obama says that country is to introduce measures aimed at curbing climate change, and this includes limits on emissions from power plants. He also has also called for an international climate deal and listed plans for an expansion of renewable energy projects.
His administration had earlier rejected the idea of a carbon tax. However, during a speech given at Georgetown University in Washington DC in late June 2013, Obama mocked critics who contend climate change is not a threat. "I don’t have much patience for anyone who denies that this challenge is real. We don’t have time for a meeting of the Flat Earth Society."
Obama says that climate change posed an immediate threat and reaffirmed his 2009 commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 17% below 2005 levels by the end of the decade.
Critics say these reductions are too modest and less aggressive than European Union targets. On the other hand, seven US governors have asked Obama to abandon this proposal, which they say would effectively shutter coal-fired power plants and prevent the construction of new ones. Senate minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, said imposing carbon rules on power plants amounted to a war on coal.
Obama also called for the US to stop supporting new coal-fired plants abroad. His plan would exempt plants in the poorest nations if the cleanest technology available in those countries is being used.
He announced US$8 billion in federal loan guarantees to spur investment in green technologies.