Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, Remarks to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen

12/09/2009 As Prepared For Delivery.



I'm very glad to be here in Copenhagen. After decades of mounting evidence, climate change has now become a household issue. Parents across the United States and around the world are concerned for their children and grandchildren. Our governments are investing billions in mitigation and adaptation strategies. Our businesses are investing billions in efforts to increase efficiency and cut greenhouse gas emissions. And our security experts are preparing for new hotspots of instability and violent conflict.

If we do not act to reduce greenhouse gases, the planet we leave to the next generation will be a very different place than the one we know today. Just as the fates of our individual economies are connected in one global destiny, so is the fate of our environment. We know that the emissions from automobiles on American highways contribute to the same urgent environmental problem as peat bogs in Indonesia and deforested farmland in the Amazon – or booming industrial centers in China and India. In this global challenge, each of us bears responsibilities that extend well beyond our individual borders.

As a start, we are working to revitalize and refashion the U.S. economy for the low-carbon, clean energy future. The Recovery Act Congress passed to pull our nation up and out of our economic downturn contains more than $80 billion for renewable energy projects. That represents the largest single investment in renewable energy in American history. We have sparked the development of solar and wind generation, the construction of efficient smart grid infrastructure to deliver clean energy, and the production and use of electric batteries for our automobiles.

One week after finalizing our greenhouse gas registry, I signed a proposed rule to focus a requirement for best available greenhouse gas emissions controls on large facilities being constructed or modified. That will help control the greenhouse gas emissions from sectors that account for nearly 70 percent of our non-vehicle emissions. And the results won’t just be emissions cuts. We will also promote emerging innovations and accelerate the use of efficient, clean technologies – in the United States and around the world.

Finally, I’m proud to say that – hours before I stepped on the plane to come here, I announced EPA’s finalized endangerment finding that greenhouse gases pose a threat to our health and welfare.

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