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Obama’s new policy takes on power plants

world Updated: Jun 27, 2013 01:27 IST
Yashwant Raj
Yashwant Raj
Hindustan Times
Barack Obama

US president Barack Obama on Tuesday resurrected a long-dormant part of his political platform, announcing measures that would enforce carbon emission cuts on the US energy sector.

The plan will restrict carbon emissions from power plants, which account for 40% of US emissions today; double energy generated from sun and wind; and cut energy wastage.

“As a president, as a father and as an American, I’m here to say we need to act,” he said in a speech at Georgetown University.

Obama indicated the US would also seek to take a global leadership position on climate change through intensified cooperation with emerging countries such as India, Brazil and especially China — which he called the “largest emitter.”

Obama is riding on renewed public concerns about global warming that have followed a series of freakish weather disasters in the US. He also the shale gas revolution and the subsequent closure of many coal-fired power plants has already resulted in huge cuts in US carbon production. The US has already achieved its 1997 Kyoto pledges without even implementing the treaty.

While New Delhi will not be concerned at Obama’s trying to trim the US’s carbon footprint, it will be wary of any renewed US attempt to revive multilateral climate change agreements that would get in the way of India’s own energy plans.