Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Pakistan Protests: Democracy put to the test (part 2)

Read more

WEB NEWS

USA: thousands pay tribute to Michael Brown

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

France's Iliad considers fresh offer for T-Mobile

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Is Carla Bruni against a political comeback for Sarkozy?

Read more

DEBATE

Pakistan Protests: Democracy put the test (Part One)

Read more

ENCORE!

The French Maestro of Soul

Read more

FOCUS

US tobacco giants want lion's share of e-cigarette business

Read more

ENCORE!

Bold and bonkers: Kate Bush is back on stage

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Simon Serfaty, US foreign policy specialist

Read more

  • NATO plans new 'spearhead' force to counter Russia

    Read more

  • French education ministry picture sparks racist abuse

    Read more

  • UN backs Iraqi request for inquiry into IS militant crimes

    Read more

  • US military targets Somalia's al Shabaab Islamist group

    Read more

  • Monaco’s Falcao leaves Ligue 1 for Man Utd

    Read more

  • Obama calls for higher wages amid 'revving' US economy

    Read more

  • Video: Ukraine’s children return to school as fighting rages on

    Read more

  • Americans detained in North Korea call for US help

    Read more

  • US urges Israel to reverse West Bank land seizure

    Read more

  • Lesotho PM calls for regional peacekeeping force after ‘coup’

    Read more

  • Ukrainian forces retreat from Luhansk airport after clashes

    Read more

  • Teddy Riner, France’s unstoppable judo champion

    Read more

  • Death toll rises in Paris apartment building blast

    Read more

  • Iraqi forces free Amerli in biggest victory over IS militants since June

    Read more

  • French police arrest hungry hedgehog hunters

    Read more

  • Tripoli under control of militias, says government

    Read more

Obama vows to reverse dependence on foreign oil

Video by Aurore Cloé DUPUIS

Latest update : 2009-01-27

President Barack Obama has vowed to reverse US dependence on foreign energy by spurring development of fuel efficient cars and giving US states more room to act. Climate change and energy dependence pose threats to national security, he said.

AFP - US President Barack Obama Monday vowed to lead the world on climate change as he set about shredding Bush administration global warming policies with new domestic measures designed to force the development of fuel-efficient cars.
  
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton meanwhile picked a veteran of the Kyoto Protocol talks as her envoy for climate change, as the administration sent clear signals as world leaders target a historic global warming pact this year.
  
"We will make it clear to the world that America is ready to lead," Obama said, in an apparent swipe at former president George W. Bush's reluctance to take control of international efforts to combat climate change.
  
"To protect our climate and our collective security, we must call together a truly global coalition," the president said, just six days after his inauguration, in a ceremony in the East Room of the White House.
  
Obama signed memoranda designed to prod the struggling US auto industry to design new fuel-efficient vehicles to lessen US dependence on energy sources which he said bankroll dictators, and to spur the US economy.
  
"The days of Washington dragging its heels are over," Obama said.
  
"My administration will not deny facts -- we will be guided by them," Obama said, in an apparent dig at Bush aides accused of subverting science for ideological reasons.
  
Obama required the Environmental Protection Agency to reconsider whether to grant California a waiver to regulate car emissions blamed for contributing to global warming.
  
Former president George W. Bush's administration had blocked efforts by the vast western state and a dozen others to impose their own limits on carbon dioxide gas emissions.
  
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger reacted with delight.
  
"With this announcement from President Obama less than a week into his administration, it is clear that California and the environment now have a strong ally in the White House," he said in a statement.
  
Obama also ordered the Transportation Department to produce guidelines to require US cars to reach average fuel efficiency of 35 miles per gallon by 2020.
  
But the new president also made clear he would ask for action from giant developing economies to do more to limit greenhouse gases.
  
"I've made it clear that we will act, but so too must the world."
  
"That's how we will deny leverage to dictators and dollars to terrorists, and that's how we will ensure that nations like China and India are doing their part, just as we are now willing to do ours."
  
Environmentalists praised Obama, after years battling the White House on climate change issues.
  
"It's a terrific beginning," David Yarnold, executive director of the Environmental Defense Fund told AFP.
  
"It fires the starting gun for millions of new jobs, and amplifying the stimulus package and welding it to environmental benefits -- and it highlights how those issues are inseparable."
  
Sierra Club Executive Director Carl Pope welcomed the California move.
  
"This action deserves the loudest applause, President Obama is making good on campaign promises and sending yet another signal that global warming and clean energy are top priorities for his administration."
  
Obama says promoting alternative energy will stimulate the recession-mired US economy and reduce demand on foreign sources of energy.
  
"America will not be held hostage to dwindling resources, hostile regimes, and a warming planet," Obama said.
  
"We will not be put off from action because action is hard. Now is the time to make tough choices," said the president, in a nod to critics of climate change reform who argue action will be painful for the hard-hit economy.
  
In another sharp break from Bush, Clinton picked Todd Stern as her envoy for climate change, a State Department official said.
  
Stern is a "former Clinton White House official with experience at Kyoto and Buenos Aires climate change negotiations," the official told AFP on condition of anonymity.
  
Stern took part in the Kyoto Protocol negotiations from 1997 to 1999, before becoming an advisor to the secretary of the treasury from 1999 to 2001.
  
Bush rejected the Kyoto Protocol in 2001 dealing a blow to global climate change efforts, warning it would deal damage the US economy.
  
The Clinton administration agreed the Protocol but the pact was never ratified by the Senate.

Date created : 2009-01-26

COMMENT(S)