Service on Climate Change (Nov08/04)
Obama's speech on climate change
On 18 November
2008, US President-elect Barack Obama sent a video message to conference
on global warming organized by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
Below is a transcript
of Obama's video speech, as prepared by the Obama transition office.
Barack Obamaís statement:
Let me begin by
thanking the bipartisan group of U.S.
governors who convened this meeting. Few challenges facing America ó and
the world ó are more urgent than combating climate change. The science
is beyond dispute and the facts are clear. Sea levels are rising. Coastlines
are shrinking. Weíve seen record drought, spreading famine, and storms
that are growing stronger with each passing hurricane season.
Climate change and
our dependence on foreign oil, if left unaddressed, will continue to
weaken our economy and threaten our national security. I know many of
you are working to confront this challenge. In particular, I want to
commend Governor Sebelius, Governor Doyle, Governor Crist, Governor
Blagojevich and your host, Governor Schwarzenegger ó all of you have
shown true leadership in the fight to combat global warming. And weíve
also seen a number of businesses doing their part by investing in clean
But too often, Washington has failed to
show the same kind of leadership. That will change when I take office.
My presidency will mark a new chapter in Americaís leadership on climate change
that will strengthen our security and create millions of new jobs in
That will start
with a federal cap and trade system. We will establish strong annual
targets that set us on a course to reduce emissions to their 1990 levels
by 2020 and reduce them an additional 80 percent by 2050. Further, we
will invest $15 billion each year to catalyze private-sector efforts
to build a clean energy future. We will invest in solar power, wind
power and next-generation biofuels. We will tap nuclear power, while
making sure itís safe. And we will develop clean coal technologies.
will not only help us reduce our dependence on foreign oil, making the
more secure. And it will not only help us bring about a clean energy
future, saving our planet. It will also help us transform our industries
and steer our country out of this economic crisis by generating five
million new green jobs that pay well and canít be outsourced.
But the truth is,
the United States
cannot meet this challenge alone. Solving this problem will require
all of us working together. I understand that your meeting is being
attended by government officials from over a dozen countries, including
the U.K., Canada
and Mexico, Brazil
and Chile, Poland and Australia,
India and Indonesia. And
I look forward to working with all nations to meet this challenge in
the coming years.
Let me also say
a special word to the delegates from around the world who will gather
at Poland next month:
your work is vital to the planet. While I wonít be president at the
time of your meeting and while the United
States has only one president at a
time, Iíve asked members of Congress who are attending the conference
as observers to report back to me on what they learn there.
And once I take
office, you can be sure that the United
States will once again engage vigorously
in these negotiations, and help lead the world toward a new era of global
cooperation on climate change.
Now is the time
to confront this challenge once and for all. Delay is no longer an option.
Denial is no longer an acceptable response. The stakes are too high.
The consequences, too serious.
change wonít be easy. It wonít happen overnight. But I promise you this:
When I am president, any governor whoís willing to promote clean energy
will have a partner in the White House. Any company thatís willing to
invest in clean energy will have an ally in Washington.
And any nation thatís willing to join the cause of combating climate
change will have an ally in the United
States of America. Thank you.
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