and Our Environment
The President has taken unprecedented action to build the foundation for a clean energy economy, tackle the issue of climate change, and protect our environment.
The Obama Administration has taken a series of important steps to reduce the harmful emissions that contribute to climate change and pollute our water and air.
Under President Obama’s leadership, the United States has engaged the international community to promote sustainable economic growth and to meet the climate change challenge through a number of important venues, including:
President Obama is pursuing a wide range of initiatives that reduce greenhouse gas emissions through clean energy technologies and policies. The Administration has made the largest clean energy investment in American history and these investments have allowed us to nearly double America’s renewable power generation since 2008.
In 2012, U.S. carbon emissions fell to the lowest level in two decades even as the economy continued to grow. To build on this momentum, the Obama Administration will take new and comprehensive action to encourage cleaner forms of American-made energy, modernize the transportation sector, and cut energy waste in our homes and businesses.
For more information on these efforts, see Innovating Our Way to a Clean Energy Future
For the first time, the United States is comprehensively cataloguing greenhouse gas emissions from the largest sources – an important initial step toward measurable and transparent reductions in carbon emissions, which will reduce air pollution and protect the health and welfare of the American people. In January 2012, the Administration launched an online tool that makes comprehensive greenhouse gas emission data publicly available for 29 different industrial categories and other large sources of greenhouse gas pollution.
President Obama has also directed the Federal Government – the largest energy consumer in the U.S. economy – to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions from direct sources such as building energy use and fuel consumption by 28 percent by 2020. He also directed Federal agencies to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions from indirect sources, such as those from employee commuting, by 13 percent by 2020. By meeting these goals, Federal agencies can save up to $11 billion dollars in energy costs and eliminate the equivalent of cumulative 235 million barrels of oil over the next decade. In 2011, the Administration released the first-ever comprehensive Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions Inventory for the U.S. Government, allowing agencies to leverage data to gauge the effectiveness of their renewable energy investments and their energy and fuel efficiency efforts.
At the request of President Obama, an interagency Climate Change Adaptation Task Force has crafted recommendations for how Federal agency policies and programs can better prepare the United States to address the risks associated with a changing climate. In February 2013, Federal agencies released their first-ever climate change adaptation plans to help ensure smart decisions that protect our investments and safeguard the health and security of our communities, economies and infrastructure from the impacts of severe weather, rising sea levels and other changing climate conditions. The Task Force has also helped develop national adaptation strategies to protect freshwater resources and fish, wildlife and plants.
Through the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), U.S. government scientists are conducting world-class research on global climate change. The USGCRP is a collaborative effort involving 13 Federal agencies to evaluate the current and future impacts of climate change, inform policy-makers and the public about scientific findings, and investigate effective ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and deploy cost-effective clean energy technology.
- March 5, 2014 at 10:19 AM EDT
- March 4, 2014 at 12:39 PM EDT
- March 3, 2014 at 5:30 PM EDT