Friday, January 29, 2010

Obama announces government greenhouse gas emissions targets

By Anne E. Kornblut and Juliet Eilperin

President Obama set greenhouse gas emissions targets for the federal government, announcing Friday that it would aim to reduce its emissions by 28 percent in 2020.
"As the largest energy consumer in the United States, we have a responsibility to American citizens to reduce our energy use and become more efficient," Obama said in a statement. "Our goal is to lower costs, reduce pollution, and shift Federal energy expenses away from oil and towards local, clean energy."
The White House estimated a savings of $8 billion to $11 billion in energy costs.
The announcement came hours after the Obama administration delivered a non-binding pledge to other countries that the United States would cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.
The Obama administration submitted its reduction target to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Secretariat under the Copenhagen Accord, a non-binding deal brokered by the United States last month at the U.N.-sponsored climate talks. Under the deal President Obama helped secure in Copenhagen, major emitters of greenhouse gases are expected to "inscribe" their reduction targets by Jan. 31.
The international commitment states that the United States will cut its emissions "in the range of 17 percent, in conformity with anticipated U.S. energy and climate legislation, recognizing that the final target will be reported to the Secretariat in light of enacted legislation." It remains unclear if Congress will pass a comprehensive climate bill this year.
Several key developing nations, such as China and India, have not yet indicated what they will commit to under the agreement. Read more.

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