Canada’s inaction on climate change was underscored again by Monday’s stunning announcement from Barack Obama’s White House. Demonstrating a commitment to lead by example, President Obama signed an Executive Order (attached) that sets sustainability goals for Federal agencies and focuses on making improvements in their environmental, energy and economic performance. The Order requires Federal agencies to set a 2020 greenhouse gas emissions reduction target within 90 days; increase energy efficiency; reduce fleet petroleum consumption; conserve water; reduce waste; support sustainable communities; and leverage Federal purchasing power to promote environmentally-responsible products and technologies.
Meanwhile, the Senate is moving forward with climate change legislation. On September 30th, U.S. Senators John Kerry (D-MA), Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, and Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairman of the Committee on Environment and Public Works, introduced the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act. The Bill is aimed at creating clean energy jobs, reducing pollution and protecting U.S. security by enhancing domestic energy production.
Though the Bill is not likely to be passed before Copenhagen, this combination of action does give the US some real progress to take to the high-stakes FCCC meeting.