Following U.S. President Barack Obama’s announcement yesterday of new regulations for U.S. power plants that call for a 32 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 from 2005 levels, BSR’s climate lead, Edward Cameron, appeared on CCTV America to talk about what this means in the run-up to the Paris COP21 climate talks.
“Today’s announcement is serious and ambitious because it tackles the main source of carbon pollution in the United States,” Cameron told CCTV. In his address, Obama noted that U.S. power plants contribute about a third of America’s carbon pollution.
Cameron emphasized that the White House plan is also feasible, given the amount of climate activity among business and international governments, and given the state of public support for climate action.
Just last week, Cameron noted, 13 U.S. companies—including five BSR member companies—joined the White House in the American Business Act on Climate Pledge to call for an ambitious outcome in Paris, to offer support for climate ambition after COP21, and to commit to concrete investments in low-carbon technologies. Further, Cameron said, through their work with the We Mean Business coalition, more than 200 companies and investors representing more than $US2 trillion in value have already made in excess of 350 commitments on climate change.
Cameron also noted that governments are taking action: “More than 40 countries representing more than 50 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions have come forward with climate action plans,” he told CCTV.
The business and government activity is supported by the public. Cameron cited a Yale Project on Climate Change Communications study revealing that the majority of Americans in every state support regulation of coal-fired power plants.
“Whether you look at the political scene, or whether you look at the movement within the business community, I think you see an irreversible and irresistible movement toward decarbonization,” Cameron concluded.
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