President Obama’s Climate Action Plan

On 25 June 2013, President Obama issued his Climate Action Plan.  This is his Administration’s best effort to tackle the issues, but it also reflects the inability to pass federal climate change legislation.  The absence of legislation will weaken US influence in key UNFCCC negotiations that are supposed to result in a global agreement by the end of 2015.  Furthermore, because the plan proposes regulations that are specific to individual technologies and even specific plants, it will raise the costs of tackling climate change in the US.  Indeed, delivering the most important measures in the President’s action plan will be slow and cannot be guaranteed. In particular, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) faces significant legal and political challenges to introduce carbon emission standards for existing coal-fired plants.  This uncertainty adds further to the costs of the proposed measures.

This may be the best that the President can do in the current political climate, but it is still disappointing from the perspective of the scale of the challenges.  Nevertheless, the plan defines a US agenda for action to deal with climate change.  It sends important signals to the rest of the world, and gives the EU a reason to put climate change back on the list of policy priorities.

By: David Robinson

Latest Tweets from @OxfordEnergy

  • New OIES study assesses effectiveness of OPEC’s Declaration of Cooperation with non-OPEC producers: DOC accelerated… https://t.co/mLWRpKlPey

    September 22nd

  • OIES's @thierry_bros interviewed by @yannicrab on the consequences of Brexit on gas interconnectors - https://t.co/MNMHVklNXV

    September 21st

  • 5+1 Key Facts about the OPEC Declaration of Cooperation https://t.co/aEffVT7iHp

    September 21st

Sign up for our Newsletter

Register your email address here and we will send you notification of new publications, comment, articles etc. automatically.