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U.S. Determined To Fight Climate Change


U.S. representatives participate in a Joint Session on Climate Change with Chinese delegation headed by Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang, July 10, 2013.

Combating global climate change is a top priority of the Administration of President Barack Obama.

Combating global climate change is a top priority of the Administration of President Barack Obama.


The United States is committed to taking this challenge head on, and working with our partners around the world to reduce emissions, transform the world’s energy economy, and help the most vulnerable cope with the impacts of climate change.

We see irrefutable evidence that man-made greenhouse gas emissions are warming our atmosphere at rates faster than any time in recorded history. In fact, 11 of the hottest 12 years on record have all occurred since 2000. Scientists agree that a changing climate leads to changes in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather and climate events. In 2012, the United States experienced 11 such events where losses exceeded $1 billion.

In 2005 and 2010, the Amazon region experienced two “100-year droughts” that led to the release of billions of tons of carbon dioxide through wildfires, soil emissions, and other biogeochemical processes. That’s the equivalent of one fifth of all the carbon dioxide released through energy usage around the world in an entire year.

The United States is determined to lead the fight against climate change. That is why we developed a comprehensive plan with three main objectives.

The first is to prevent the worst effects of climate change by reducing our carbon pollution. Historically, the U.S. had set limits for arsenic, mercury, lead, and sulfur but had placed no limits on how much carbon dioxide pollution power plants may release. America’s Climate Action Plan adds new protections by addressing emissions of greenhouse gases for the first time. Carbon dioxide pollution contributes to health problems, and increases the severity of droughts and heat waves. Cutting carbon dioxide will also reduce the acidification of our oceans.

The second goal is to prepare the United States, for the unavoidable impacts of climate change.

And third, the United States will lead international efforts to address climate change.

What one country does impacts the livelihoods of people elsewhere – and what we all do to address climate change now will largely determine the kind of planet we leave for our children and generations to come.
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