Obama: US can profit from climate change

Obama: US can profit from climate change
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President ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaHead of North Carolina's health department steps down Appeals court appears wary of Trump's suit to block documents from Jan. 6 committee Patent trolls kill startups, but the Biden administration has the power to help  MORE told National Geographic this week that the fight against climate change “represents one of the greatest economic opportunities of the 21st century.”

In an interview with the magazine published Thursday, Obama said advancements in the clean energy sector could drive job creation in the future.

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He also highlighted the success of past environmental protection laws while defending his administration's actions on climate change and the science behind it.

“Rapid advancements in clean energy, energy efficiency, and low-carbon energy technologies are creating jobs, stimulating investment, and spurring innovation, proving that there does not have to be a conflict between a sound environment and strong economic growth,” Obama said. “Moving to a low-carbon economy is creating new industries and unlocking cleaner forms of affordable and reliable American-made energy.”

Obama he is “always eager to work with Congress to strengthen and improve our environmental safeguards,” but that he will work on his own to implement climate change policies if he has to. That means climate protections in trade negotiations, limits on greenhouse gas emissions from power plans or entering into international climate accords, a major goal before the year is out. 

“Where Congress doesn’t act and my administration has the authority to make progress on important issues, from climate change to other public health threats, I will move to make progress,” he said.

The National Geographic interview — consisting of written replies to the magazine's questions — covered everything from the drought in California to his administration's reaction to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. 

“The reality is that we will continue to rely in part on fossil fuels while we transition to a low-carbon economy,” he said when asked why the administration is considering expanding the areas available for fossil fuel extraction. “Safe and responsible development of our domestic energy resources has benefits for our economy, jobs, and enhanced global energy security”

Obama, who spent part of Earth Day mocking lawmakers who are skeptical of climate change, was again defiant against those who question the science behind it.

“Science has also been central to helping us meet our greatest challenges, from economic growth to improving health care to keeping our homeland safe,” he said. “So it’s up to us to keep nurturing and cultivating the curiosity and ingenuity that make discovery possible.”