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President Obama announces new Climate Action Plan

26 Jun 2013

President Barack Obama announced today a new Climate Action Plan to reduce carbon pollution, a move which shows the world's biggest economy is serious about tackling climate change.

After the Republican-controlled Congress blocked a national emissions trading scheme in the US, the President has used his executive power to take action on climate change.

The Minister for Climate Change, Industry and Innovation, Greg Combet, said the Climate Action Plan was an important contribution to global efforts to tackle climate change.

It includes direction to the US Environmental Protection Agency to complete carbon pollution standards for both new and existing power plants.

President Obama has also announced a goal of reducing carbon pollution by at least 3 billion tonnes by 2030.

Like Australia's Clean Energy Future plan, the Climate Action Plan includes measures to support renewables, energy efficiency and long-term investment in clean energy innovation.

"This important action will help the US transition to clean forms of energy, promote US business innovation and create jobs," said Mr Combet.

"As President Obama has said, climate change is too important for political leaders to indulge in scare campaigns and Flat Earth Society meetings."

"That's as true in Australia as it is in the United States."

The Climate Action Plan states that America, as the world's second largest emitter, will take a leadership role in forging a global climate change solution.

It follows another significant international development last week, when China, the world's largest emitter, launched its first emissions trading scheme for the city of Shenzen.

"These developments give the lie to Tony Abbott's claims that Australia is acting alone and no other countries are taking action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions," Mr Combet said.

"Carbon pricing is the most cost-effective way to tackle climate change and after almost a year in operation Australia's carbon price is already working to reduce emissions and boost renewable energy."

"At a time where more and more countries, both developed and developing, are implementing serious policies to tackle climate change, it would be extremely reckless to repeal Australia's clean energy future package."

Media contacts: Minister's office 02 6277 7920

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