Obama says fight against climate change must continue

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U.S. President Obama stresses the urgency of curbing climate change and says that even when he leaves office, “change is going to be in all of our hands as citizens.” Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

Obama says fight against climate change must continue


STORY: U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at an annual environmental summit in Lake Tahoe on Wednesday (August 31) and stresses the urgency of curbing climate change.

“We’ve proven that the choice between our environment, our economy and our health is a false one. We’ve got to strengthen all of them together,” Obama said.

Obama has embarked on a 10-day trip where he will continue to stress the urgency of curbing climate change and try to achieve some final agreements with world leaders at a G20 meeting in China.

Obama, who is racing to cement his legacy on climate change before his presidency ends on Jan. 20, will showcase both progress and looming threats in stops at Lake Tahoe, Nevada; Honolulu; and an ocean refuge in the remote Midway Atoll.

To a crowd at Lake Tahoe, Obama said his government has “protected more acres of public lands and water than any administration in history.” But he said conservation efforts must continue.

“After we’ve all left office, the charge to continue to make positive change is going to be in all of our hands as citizens… change happens because of you,” Obama said as he departed the stage.

Obama discussed drought, wildfires and gains the United States has made in renewable energy. He pointed to U.S. carbon emissions that are at their lowest level in almost two decades

The administration set a goal to boost private and philanthropic investments for conservation to $10 billion per year. The number was about $230 million at the beginning of the Obama’s first term and is estimated to hit at least $1 billion this year.

Green groups have cheered Obama but also are prodding him not to rest on his laurels. The Supreme Court put his plan to slash carbon emissions from power plants on hold earlier this year.

Last week, he quadrupled the size of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument off the coast of Hawaii, banning commercial fishing and drilling from a huge area known for its coral reefs, sharks and seals.

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