Washington: US President Barack Obama has exuded confidence of a successful Paris Summit on climate change later this year, with the White House hoping countries like China and India will be fully on board for the "most ambitious international climate change in human history".
"In December, with America leading the way, we have a chance to put in place one of the most ambitious international climate agreements in human history," Obama said yesterday at a White House event wherein he announced an ambitious clean energy target to curb pollution from coal-fired power plants.
"I don't want to fool you here. This is going to be hard; dealing with climate change in its entirety, it's challenging. No single action, no single country will change the warming of the planet on its own," he said.
"But today, with America leading the way, countries representing 70 per cent of the carbon pollution from the world's energy sector have announced plans to cut their greenhouse gas emissions," said the US President.
Obama argued, if the US does not take steps, other countries would not follow through. "If we don't do it, nobody will. The only reason that China is now looking at getting serious about its emissions is because they saw that we were going to do it, too. When the world faces its toughest challenges, America leads the way forward. That's what this plan is about," he said.
Earlier in the day, the White House cited the steps taken by countries like India, China and Brazil and hoped that the Paris Summit would be successful.
"We've seen commitments from places like Mexico, which agreed to cap their carbon pollution in 2026. We saw commitments from India when it comes to the deployment of renewable energy technology. We also saw a significant commitment in just the last month or so from South Korea. And that's an indication that there is building momentum toward the climate talks in Paris," the White House Press Secretary, Josh Earnest, said.
"I do think you can expect that the United States will seek to use this significant domestic commitment that the President announced today to leverage a commitment from other countries and even advance the talks in December," he said in response to a question.
Earnest said the US has had a lot of success in getting other countries to make significant commitments alongside the United States when we make important domestic commitments to reduce carbon pollution.
"So the President travelled to China last November, where he announced a significant commitment on the part of the United States to reduce carbon pollution in this country, and he was met with a similar commitment by President Xi to cap carbon emissions in China on or around 2030," he said.
"What that would require on the part of the Chinese is a historic investment in renewable energy on the scale that we've never seen before. That means it's a significant commitment that's made by the Chinese government but also is the kind of commitment that opens up significant economic opportunity for US businesses, particularly those that are looking to do business in the renewable energy industry inside of China," he said.
"That's an indication of how we've previously been able to leverage domestic commitments in the United States to broader international commitments by other countries," the White House Press Secretary said.