World Wildlife Fund (WWF) issued the following statement from Lou Leonard, WWF’s head of climate change, in response to this evening’s State of the Union Address by President Barack Obama:
“With the Northeast recovering from yet another extreme storm, tonight the President began to map out a course to help America navigate the dangers of our warming world. It was encouraging to see President Obama connect the dots between extreme weather and dirty energy, and to be clear that he won't wait for Congress to act. Cities and towns on the front lines of extreme weather can't afford more excuses from Washington.
"In the coming days and weeks, the President should zoom in further on specific next steps to create an all-hands-on-deck approach to moving this climate agenda forward during his second term. With the course set and solutions on the horizon, we must move quickly ahead.
“The President reminded us that the path ahead has two parallel – and equally important – tracks: preparing local communities for extreme weather and sea level rise, and reducing our nation’s reliance on dirty energy that fuels climate change.
“The President already has the tools to advance common sense solutions that prepare local communities for extreme weather and help transition our economy to clean, renewable energy. Over the longer run, however, Congress needs to break the political gridlock around climate change, so we can get serious about pricing carbon pollution to pay for mounting climate costs.
“The President also rightly expressed concerns about next year’s federal budget and looming sequestration. In a time of tightening budgets, we first need to stop spending on things that make our problems worse, like government tax breaks for oil companies. Instead, we need to adopt a sensible, targeted approach to reducing the deficit and avoid broad-based cuts that will unnecessarily harm our nation’s most important investments, including those for international conservation and climate funding.
“With smart, common-sense approaches, we can start seriously preparing for the risks ahead and investing in the cleaner, safer future for our children and grandchildren.”
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Media contact, Chris Conner, 202-492-2001