The White House on Friday unveiled a new climate action plan, promising to “work as much as we possibly can” to address the challenge.
In a major speech at a Washington-area university, President Obama promised to “continue to lead on climate issues” in a speech at George Mason University, a conservative school where he has been a vocal critic of the administration.
“We’ve got to work as hard and as long as we have to, to try to bring people together and get to the right decisions, and to make sure that we get our energy economy moving again,” Obama said.
Obama, who has been criticized for his record on climate, has said he wants to increase energy production and use more renewable energy.
He also said the United States is “not a planet for selfish reasons” and that we should “put aside some of our selfishness and make sure we’re helping other countries do the same.”
He has not provided specifics, but said he is “going to work with other countries to make our energy system more resilient to climate change.”
Obama’s climate action would require an additional $7.5 trillion in annual spending to stabilize the global economy and create jobs, the White House said.
The plan calls for the U.S. to reduce its carbon emissions by 50 percent by 2030 and its oil use by 35 percent, the same amount it has reduced in the last 20 years.
The Obama administration will also work to “reduce carbon emissions, and use clean technology to do so,” the White Board said.
The administration said it will “take steps to reduce carbon pollution from the power sector, by improving fuel efficiency standards and ensuring that more efficient fuel is used, reducing reliance on imported oil and reducing the use of fossil fuels.”
Obama will also announce the first-ever cap-and-trade program to reduce emissions, the administration said.
“These measures will ensure that all Americans have access to clean, affordable, safe energy and will help drive down our carbon pollution, and help make our economy stronger and more competitive,” the administration added.
Obama, a former Democratic presidential candidate, is seeking a fourth term in office in 2020.
He is a Democrat and has a long history of fighting climate change, a subject that has gained political traction during his presidency.
He has repeatedly said he would not repeat his predecessor’s mistakes.
President Donald Trump, who will take over the White Houses reins in January, has repeatedly criticized the president for his role in climate change.
At a joint press conference with Trump last month, Obama said he believed Trump’s views were “irresponsible.”