Obama’s new climate change plan – Is it a ‘kitchen sink’ approach?

If you have been reading the latest news, you would have read about Obama’s new Climate Change Plan. What the plan actually means is the Clean Power Plan sets standards to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from 32% from 2005 levels by 2030, which is 9% more than proposed earlier.

That’s drastic change in their policy. I have my doubts over it. One question comes up is why now? It could be because the Paris submit is about to happen in December and Obama wishes to be a leader who brought in remarkable changes in Climate Change Policy. Hilary Clinton supports this policy but other republicans do not.

It sets carbon pollution reduction goals for power plants and requires states to implement plans to meet goals. States have until September of 2016 to submit plans, but can take more time if needed, and must comply by 2022. The original date of compliance was 2020. If states do not submit their own plans, the government will provide them.

The states are clearly refusing to follow it. It is kind of ‘Catch 22’ situation where if this policy is going to be followed, it might hamper coal industry.

They worry that if coal plants cannot do what they have always done, state economies would suffer, people would be laid off of work and the government would be overreaching.

I feel that even if it might see some backlash from other states, this policy might encourage other countries to bring in some positive change. Up till now there are only 49 countries who have signed the new Climate Change Policy. Just 49?

Utility companies say power bills will go up and that the plan will make the US uncompetitive. But market forces are shifting toward renewable sources of energy. There is a greater interest in them and prices are going down. Each state has different emission reduction targets. The plan suggests states comply with “building blocks”. Some states have said they will not comply, promising to sue.

There are a lot of parallels [between the Affordable Care Act and the Clean Power Plan] in that they are both highly controversial, and the Affordable Care Act survived its legal challenges largely intact. This is the time for the final push for legacy initiatives.

If you have seen Obama’s couple of videos in which he spoke about the need to change NOW. It does sound promising.

You can see from this link, the top 10 countries who pollute a lot. Of course, India is one of them.

If all these countries follow suit, there might be some dramatic positive change. I am keeping my fingers crossed.

Source: BBC, The Guardian

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