Obama makes case for ‘bolder action’ on climate change in last speech

US President Barack Obama has urged the US to take bolder action in tackling climate change in his last presidential speech.

In his farewell address, delivered on 10 January in Chicago, Obama  said: “We’ve  led the world to an agreement that has the promise to save this planet.  But without bolder action, our children won’t have time to debate the existence of climate change. They’ll be busy dealing with its effects.

“More environmental disasters, more economic disruptions. Waves of climate refugees seeking sanctuary.

“We can and should argue about the best approach to solve the problem. But to simply deny the problem not only betrays future generations, it betrays the essential spirit of this country (US) – the essential spirit of innovation and practical problem solving that guided our founders.”

Global warming

On energy policy, Obama noted that the US halved its dependence on foreign oil and doubled its renewable power in the last eight years. He touted the Paris climate deal, which his administration helped negotiate among nearly 200 nations, but he acknowledged that it will not be enough to limit the worst impacts of global warming.”

Incoming president

President-elect Donald Trump, who has denied that humans are causing climate change, has vowed to exit the Paris Agreement. However, Trump has made statements of support for biofuels and the renewable fuels standard (RFS) during his presidential campaign.

Last year, three members of the Governor’s Biofuel Coalition sent a letter to Trump thanking him for his repeated statements of support for biofuels.

“We are very encouraged that your administration will prioritise economic growth in rural America,” said the governors in the letter.

“The nation’s biofuels industry has generated thousands of jobs throughout the nation, and biofuels will continue to grow our state’s economies with your help.”

Within the letter, the governors also wrote that they looked forward to working with the Trump administration to advance policies that will add value to the agricultural community.

 This story was written by Liz Gyekye, editor of Biofuels and Bioenergy International.

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