Obama: Climate change among top three priorities for second term

The interview took place before the fatal shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, an incident that had pushed gun control to a top spot on Obama's agenda.

Obama said his daughters have influenced his thinking about the need to tackle climate change.

“[O]n an issue like climate change, for example, I think for this country and the world to ask some very tough questions about what are we leaving behind, that weighs on you. And not to mention the fact I think that generation is much more environmentally aware than previous generations,” he told TIME.


The comments continued a trend of Obama vowing to focus on climate without laying out details of his agenda.

Against the backdrop of Hurricane Sandy, Obama said in his first post-election press conference in November that climate change would be a focus in his second term.

In that press conference, Obama touted executive actions designed to curb emissions, such as finalizing new vehicle fuel efficiency standards and rolling out the first-ever air pollution limits for new coal-fired power plants.

Congressional Democrats have amplified calls in recent weeks to tackle climate change through legislation. They have said Sandy, a months-long drought and wildfires that ravaged the West this past summer urge action on the issue.

For the whole TIME interview, click here.