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Obama plan calls for renewable transition

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climate change, WWF, renewable initiative, climateGland, Switzerland – Today, US President Barack Obama delivered a plan of action on climate change in a speech that called for citizens, business and local governments to move away from fossil fuels and invest in a renewable future.

Samantha Smith, Leader of WWF’s Global Climate and Energy Initiative, says President Obama’s plan won’t reduce US carbon pollution as much as scientists or equity say is needed. “Still, it sends a strong political signal, also globally. It should be a powerful spur to other developed countries that have used US inaction as an excuse for their own failure to act.

“The plan’s limits on dirty coal-fired power and getting rid of subsidies for fossil fuel companies will do a lot to move the US away from burning fossil fuels, by far the biggest source of carbon pollution. These steps are needed in many countries, both developed and developing, if we are to reach a cleaner, renewable future.”

WWF also welcomes President Obama’s announcement that US public funds will no longer go to pay for dirty coal plants overseas. WWF will continue to push for a large and concrete increase in US finance for renewables abroad, including both community-based energy access and utility-scale plants.”

Lou Leonard, WWF-US Vice President for Climate Change, says President Obama rightly sees climate change as requiring a government-wide plan, including action on pollution from the largest source of US emissions — existing dirty power plants.

“Recognising that the US needs to meet its international commitments and strongly support robust international action is also crucial as the world works to forge a new global climate pact by 2015,” he says.

“What we need next is a strategy that identifies our destination and how fast we will move to get there.  We have the technology and the business case to meet science-based climate goals by the end of this decade, get off dirty fuels and move to 100% renewable energy today.  As President Obama fills in the details of his plan, the best science should serve as his compass if we are to find the way to safer shores,” says Leonard.

For more information, please contact:

Mandy Jean Woods mwoods@wwf.org.za / +27 82 553 4211 (please send SMS if urgent) @MandyJeanWoods

Samantha Smith ssmith@wwf.no  / @pandaclimate

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