By Ben Geman - 06/19/13 03:51 PM EDT
President Obama on Wednesday called climate change the “global threat of our time" in a speech in Berlin.
Amid signs the White House is getting ready to unveil new executive-level steps to curb greenhouse gases, Obama linked fighting climate change to peace and justice while calling for bold action.
Obama touted his first-term work on green energy and boosting auto efficiency rules, but added: “We know we have to do more — and we will do more.”
The White House within the next few weeks is expected to outline executive actions to be taken by the Environmental Protection Agency and other departments.
Obama’s climate aide Heather Zichal previewed the plan in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday.
Obama said Wednesday that a global climate accord is needed.
“With a global middle class consuming more energy every day, this must now be an effort of all nations, not just some. For the grim alternative affects all nations — more severe storms, more famine and floods, new waves of refugees, coastlines that vanish, oceans that rise. This is the future we must avert,” Obama said.
“This is the global threat of our time. And for the sake of future generations, our generation must move toward a global compact to confront a changing climate before it is too late. That is our job. That is our task. We have to get to work,” he said, according to a White House transcript.
United Nations-led talks are aimed at striking a new global accord in 2015 that would come into force in 2020.
But negotiators face huge hurdles in crafting a binding deal that can win support from developed nations, emerging economies and poor nations most at risk from rising sea levels and other effects of climate change.
Click here for more on Obama's remarks, which included a call for cutting U.S. nuclear weapon stockpiles.