Obama Record: Climate

BARACK OBAMA RESOURCE

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A Historic Commitment to Protecting the Environment and Addressing the Impacts of Climate Change

Source: WH

President Obama believes that no challenge poses a greater threat to our children, our planet, and future generations than climate change — and that no other country on Earth is better equipped to lead the world towards a solution.

That’s why under President Obama’s leadership, the United States has done more to combat climate change than ever before, while growing the economy. In fact, since the President took office, carbon emissions have decreased 9 percent, while the U.S. economy grew more than 10 percent.


Bar chart showing that from 2008 to 2015, the economic growth was 10.6% and carbon dioxide emissions lowered by 9.4% Bar chart showing that electricity generated from solar was 865 in 2008 and 45,000 in 2016. Electricity generated from wind was 55,000 in 2008 and 165,000 in 2016. Bar chart showing that the U.S. imported 11,115,000 barrels of oil per day, and in 2015 the U.S. imported 4,711,000 barrels of oil per day.

Cut Carbon Pollution

Established the first-ever national carbon pollution standards for power plants, the largest source of carbon pollution in our country. The Clean Power Plan gives states flexible, cost-effective tools to cut carbon pollution from these plants by 32% from 2005 levels by 2030, while preventing thousands of premature deaths and tens of thousands of childhood asthma attacks by reducing dangerous co-pollutants.

Reducing Carbon Pollution in Our Power Plants → https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=li1aHjjqh3w

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Set standards that will nearly double the fuel economy of passenger vehicles by 2025 and established ground-breaking fuel economy standards for medium and heavy-duty trucks.

Together, these standards will avoid more than 8 billion tons of carbon pollution while saving families and businesses nearly $2 trillion over the lives of the vehicles.

Remarks by the President on Fuel Efficiency Standards of Medium and Heavy-Duty Vehicles, February 19, 2014

“And improving gas mileage for these trucks are going to drive down our oil imports even further. That reduces carbon pollution even more, cuts down on businesses’ fuel costs, which should pay off in lower prices for consumers. So it’s not just a win-win, it’s a win-win-win.”

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Set new energy-efficiency standards for appliances and equipment, which have cut consumers’ electricity bills by hundreds of billions of dollars. Taken together, the final energy conservation standards completed during this Administration will avoid 2.5 billion metric tons of carbon emissions by 2030.

Memo on Appliance Efficiency Standards

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Launched the American Business Act on Climate Pledge, with major American companies voicing support for a strong international climate agreement in Paris and making major new commitments to cut carbon pollution, boost clean energy, and increase low-carbon investment.

As of the latest round of pledges in December 2015, 154 businesses — with operations in all 50 states, employing nearly 11 million people, representing more than $4.2 trillion in annual revenue, and $7 trillion in market capitalization— are committed to support the Paris climate process.

White House Announces Additional Commitments to The American Business Act on Climate Pledge

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Developed and are implementing a strategy to reduce methane emissions, including new standards to cut emissions from new sources of oil and gas development and landfills, taking the first step to regulate existing sources in the oil and gas sector, and provided support for new technologies to detect and measure methane emissions

The EPA announced proposed standards to directly reduce methane emissions from the oil and gas sector to help address climate change:

Administration Takes Historic Action to Reduce Methane Emissions for the Oil and Gas Sector

EPA.gov: EPA Issues Final Actions to Cut Methane Emissions from Municipal Solid Waste Landfills

Announced two rounds of private-sector commitments and executive actions that will slash U.S. reliance on HFCs and reduce cumulative global consumption of these greenhouse gases by the equivalent of more than 1 billion metric tons of CO2 through 2025.

FACT SHEET: Obama Administration and Private-Sector Leaders Announce Ambitious Commitments and Robust Progress to Address Potent Greenhouse Gases

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Reduced the Federal Government’s greenhouse gas emissions by more than 17 percent and set a new aggressive goal of reducing Federal emissions by 40 percent from 2008 levels by 2025

FACT SHEET: Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the Federal Government and Across the Supply Chain

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Collaborated with agricultural producers to cut emissions and increase carbon sequestration in the agricultural and forestry sectors through voluntary and incentive-based measures, and improved monitoring and measurement of land-sector greenhouse gas emissions

Recognizing the role that forests and agricultural activities place in GHG emissions, in April 2015, USDA announced its Building Blocks for Climate-Smart Agriculture and Forestry—voluntary and incentive-based programs to reduce GHG emissions from agricultural production, increase carbon storage in our forests and soils, and generate clean, renewable energy. These actions will foster resilient economies and food systems, while also reducing emissions and improving environmental conditions.

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Climate Change and the Land Sector: Improving Measurement, Mitigation and Resilience of our Natural Resources

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Released the U.S. Mid-Century Strategy for Deep Decarbonization alongside Canada and Mexico, setting out a long-term vision for cost-effectively decarbonizing our economy

The report, which is a key due-out of the Paris Agreement, illustrates the pathways to achieve an 80 percent economy-wide emissions reduction below 2005 levels by 2050 – consistent with the global ambition necessary to avoid the most costly climate impacts and catastrophic risks.

U.S. Mid-Century Strategy for Deep Decarbonization

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Announced support for strong international climate action by more than 300 colleges and universities, who signed the American Campus Act on Climate Pledge

Get the full list of schools standing behind this pledge:

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Expanded the Clean Energy Economy

Made the largest single investment in clean energy in history through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act), providing more than $90 billion in strategic clean energy investments and tax incentives to promote job creation and the deployment of low-carbon technologies, and leveraging approximately $150 billion in private and other non-federal capital for clean energy investments resulting in in dramatic increases in clean energy – with wind power tripling and solar power increasing by 30- times since the President took office.

Technology improvements in clean energy–in significant part due to Federal investment–have resulted in substantial costs reductions. Since 2008, the cost of solar has dropped 64 percent, wind 41 percent and LEDs 94 percent.

DOE’s SunShot Initiative launched in 2011 to drive down the cost of solar, and after achieving over 90% of the cost reductions towards the 2020 goal in 2016, launched a new goal with increased ambition for 2030.

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And DOE’s Revolution Now report shows how far a range of key technologies have come in reducing costs and increasing deployment.

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Approved the first-ever large-scale renewable energy projects on Federal public lands, and permitted more than 15 GW of renewable energy capacity approved as of 2016. Established the first program for offshore wind leasing and permitting, which Administration analysis show could produce up to 86 GW of renewable energy off our coasts by 2050.

In 2009, there were no solar projects built on public lands and no method to address industry’s growing interest in developing renewable energy projects onshore or offshore.

Today, some of the world’s largest solar projects are powering the grid from public and tribal lands; we have a blueprint for responsible solar development in the West; and we’ve institutionalized a competitive renewable energy leasing program within the Bureau of Land Management. In a span of eight years, we approved 60 commercial-scale renewable energy projects on public lands that have the potential to produce 15,500 megawatts, enough to power approximately five million American homes. That’s progress.

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Established the nation’s first program for offshore wind leasing and permitting. We identified wind energy areas that will allow our nation to capture substantial energy potential, without compromising fishing, recreation, national security, or environment. In 2016, the nation’s first offshore wind farm went operational off the coast of Rhode Island, and we have awarded eleven commercial leases along the Atlantic seaboard, covering over one million acres in federal waters, which with other projects could unlock up to 86 gigawatts of offshore wind in the U.S. by 2050.

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Performed energy-efficiency upgrades in nearly two million homes across the country.

In President Obama’s first term, DOE and HUD completed efficiency upgrades in nearly two million homes, saving many families more than $400 on their heating and cooling bills in the first year alone.

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Launched the Clean Energy Investment Initiative to expand private-sector investment in promising technologies aimed at reducing carbon pollution, including inspiring more than $4 billion in private-sector commitments and executive actions to scale up investment in clean-energy innovation.

Mobilizing $4 Billion in Private-Sector Support for Homegrown Clean-Energy Innovation

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Made $1 billion in additional loan guarantee authority available and announced new guidelines for distributed energy projects utilizing innovative technologies, like rooftop solar panels with storage, and unlocked $10 billion in current loan guarantees for these technologies

FACT SHEET: President Obama Announces New Actions to Bring Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency to Households across the Country

Last year, the United States brought online as much solar energy every three weeks as it did in all of 2008, and the solar industry added jobs 10 times faster than the rest of the economy. Since the beginning of 2010, the average cost of a solar electric system has dropped by 50 percent. In fact, distributed solar prices fell 10 to 20 percent in 2014 alone and currently 44 states have pricing structures that encourage increased penetration of distributed energy resources.

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Launched a new cross government partnership – the Clean Energy Savings For All Initiative to increase access to solar energy and promote energy efficiency across the United States with a particular focus on expanding access for low- and moderate- income communities and creating a more inclusive workforce.

President Obama unlocked access to Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing, making it easier to invest in energy efficiency and renewable energy at no up-front cost.

Watch the story of Ida Rhyne, a Baltimore resident who became the first person on her block to solar panels installed on her home thanks to this intiative.

FACT SHEET: Obama Administration Announces Clean Energy Savings for All Americans Initiative

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FACT SHEET: Obama Administration Announces New Actions to Bring Clean Energy Savings to All Americans

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U.S. Department of Energy: Property-Assessed Clean Energy Programs

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Unlocked more than $850 million from the United States Department of Agriculture to invest in helping hundreds of small businesses improve energy efficiency, adopt renewable energy systems.

USDA Invested Hundreds of Millions of Dollars to Help Hundreds of Small Businesses Improve Energy Efficiency, Adopt Renewable Energy Systems

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Expanded and modernized the electric grid through technology upgrades and permitting reforms

President Obama is committed to improving the nation’s electric grid and spurring the development of renewable energy. The Administration announced new investments in the next generation of power transmission and smart grid technology in 13 states and executive actions that will make it easier and faster to permit transmission lines.

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On track to deploy 3 GW of renewable energy generation at U.S. military installations

DOD Defense Department has implemented a number of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies, underscoring the significant and inherent connection between energy independence and national security. Our Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines are deploying innovations in energy efficient technology, operational procedures, and renewable energy to improve combat capability and extend operational reach.  This includes solar panels that power mobile artillery, fuel efficient tactical vehicles, and command-and-control systems that enable commanders to extend operational reach and reduce the number of vulnerable replenishment convoys.   The Army, Navy and Air Force are also deploying three gigawatts of renewable energy on their installations by 2025 – enough to power 750,000 homes.

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Announced the 21st Century Clean Transportation Plan in the 2016 State of the Union, unlocked $4 billion in funding for electric vehicle fueling infrastructure, established the first national electric vehicle charging infrastructure, and partnered with the private sector to building a lasting commitment to scale up electric vehicles

FACT SHEET: President Obama’s 21st Century Clean Transportation System

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Obama Administration Announces New Actions to Accelerate The Deployment of Electrical Vehicles and Charging Infrastructure

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Here’s Why You Should Care About Alternative Fuel Corridors

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Electric Vehicles Can Lower Emissions and Enhance Resiliency

Electric vehicles can be used to shorten or end power outages by plugging their reserves into the grid. This is the kind of innovation we need to take action on climate change — both reducing emissions and boosting climate resilience.

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Established the Better Buildings Challenge to enlist cities, states, utilities, manufacturers, school districts, and businesses to improve energy efficiency, targeting heavy users such as data centers and outdoor lighting systems

President Obama’s Plan to Win the Future by Making American Businesses More Energy Efficient through the “Better Buildings Initiative”

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Worked with companies, mayors, university presidents, and labor leaders to drive $4 billion of investment in energy-efficiency upgrades for public and private buildings

Chart of the Week: We’re Using More Clean Energy than Ever Before

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Launched Solar Ready Vets at ten U.S. military bases to train veterans for jobs in the solar power industry

Remarks by the President on Jobs in Solar Energy
April 03, 2015

“I’m announcing a new goal to train 75,000 workers to enter the solar industry by 2020.  As part of this, we’re creating what we’re calling a “Solar Ready Vets” program that’s modeled after some successful pilot initiatives that have already been established over the last several years.  It’s going to train transitioning military personnel for careers in this growing industry at 10 bases — including right here at Hill.

“And as part of this effort, we’re also going to work with states to enable more veterans to use the Post-9/11 GI Bill for solar job training. And it’s one of the many steps that we’re taking to help nearly 700,000 veterans and military spouses get a job.  In fact, about 30 percent of the federal workforce is now made up of veterans. I’ve said it before, and I think employers are starting to catch on, if you really want to get the job done, hire a veteran.”

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Released the first installment of the Quadrennial Energy Review, which focuses on U.S. energy transmission, storage, and distribution to examine how to modernize our nation’s energy infrastructure to promote economic competitiveness, energy security, and environmental responsibility

President Obama Speaks on American Energy

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FACT SHEET: Administration Announces New Agenda To Modernize Energy

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Supported research and public-private partnerships to pursue new innovations in biofuel technologies

“Today at the White House, the Departments of the Navy, Agriculture and Energy announced new contracts to construct and commission biorefineries capable of producing drop-in, military-compatible fuels that can be used in our most advanced warfighting platforms and by commercial industry.  Together, the three companies receiving the awards will produce more than 100 million gallons of military grade fuel – at a price that’s competitive with fossil fuel.”

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Dedicated new federal resources for economic diversification, job creation, training, and other employment services for workers and communities impacted by layoffs at coal mines and coal-fired power plants

The United States is undergoing a rapid energy transformation, particularly in the power sector. Booming natural gas production, declining costs for renewable energy, increases in energy efficiency, flattening electricity demand, and updated clean air standards are changing the way electricity is generated and used across the country. These trends are producing cleaner air and healthier communities, and spurring new jobs and industries. At the same time, they are impacting workers and communities who have relied on the coal industry as a source of good jobs and economic prosperity, particularly in Appalachia, where competition with other coal basins provides additional pressure. To help these communities adapt to the changing energy landscape and build a better future the President’s FY 2016 Budget proposed the POWER Plus (POWER+) Plan.

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Increased Federal investment in hydroelectric power, including in the construction of the Red Rock Hydroelectric Plant in Iowa

REPORT: Climate Action Plan Progress Report

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Recognized independent commitments by more than 350 leading companies and state and local leaders to deploy solar energy and increase energy efficiency across the nation

President Obama Speaks on American Energy

President Obama announces new steps to help generate more clean energy, waste less energy overall, and leave our kids and our grandkids with a cleaner, safer planet in the process.

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Made the largest investments in cleaner and more efficient energy systems in the Nation’s history and delivered on a commitment to clean energy innovation.

Learn more about ARPA-e, the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy

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FACT SHEET: Winning the Future through Innovation

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Learn more about Energy Innovation Hubs started under the Obama Administration

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Created the most comprehensive process ever for assessing energy-technology and energy-policy options.

Learn more about the Quadrennial Energy Review here.

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Keeping America’s Energy System on the Cutting Edge.

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Addressed water pollution with the creation of the Challenging Nutrients Coalition to develop better and cheaper ways to improve water quality and data.

Learn more about Innovating to Protect Our Waterways

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Led Global Efforts on Climate Change

Led global efforts on climate change, resulting in a historic Paris Climate Agreement, with more than 190 countries coming together to adopt the most ambitious climate change agreement in history. The Paris Agreement establishes a long-term, durable global framework to set the world on a course to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate the most dangerous levels of climate change.

This new global framework lays the foundation for countries to work together to put the world on a path to keeping global temperature rise well below 2 degrees Celsius and sets an ambitious vision to go even farther than that. This Agreement sends a strong signal to the private sector that the global economy is moving towards clean energy, and that through innovation and ingenuity, we can achieve our climate objectives while creating new jobs, raising standards of living and lifting millions out of poverty.

The Paris Agreement is also the culmination of a broader effort by nations, businesses, cities, and citizens to reorient the global economy to a path of low-carbon growth – progress that will accelerate as a result of the Agreement’s provisions on mitigation ambition, transparency, and climate finance.

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Led an unprecedented international effort to push the Paris Agreement into force, faster than all but a handful of international agreements

Remarks by the President on the Paris Agreement

“Today is a historic day in the fight to protect our planet for future generations.

“Ten months ago, in Paris, I said before the world that we needed a strong global agreement to reduce carbon pollution and to set the world on a low-carbon course. The result was the Paris Agreement. Last month, the United States and China — the world’s two largest economies and largest emitters — formally joined that agreement together. And today, the world has officially crossed the threshold for the Paris Agreement to take effect.

“Today, the world meets the moment. And if we follow through on the commitments that this agreement embodies, history may well judge it as a turning point for our planet.”

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Led an international coalition of countries to secure an amendment to the Montreal Protocol to phase down HFCs, potent greenhouse gases. The amendment, which has strong support from U.S. industry, will avoid more than 80 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2050 – equivalent to more than a decade of emissions from the entire U.S. economy – and could avoid up to 0.5°C of warming by the end of the century.

FACT SHEET: Nearly 200 Countries Reach a Global Deal to Phase Down Potent Greenhouse Gases and Avoid Up to 0.5°C of Warming

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Forged a historic joint announcement with China, under which the United States launched an ambitious but achievable U.S. target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025, while China announced for the first time its intent to peak carbon emissions around 2030 and increase the share of zero-carbon energy capacity to 20 percent

This announcement is a unique development in the U.S.-China relationship. The world’s two largest economies, energy consumers, and carbon emitters are reaching across traditional divides and working together to demonstrate leadership on an issue that affects the entire world.

By making this announcement well in advance of the deadline set out in the UNFCCC negotiations, the two leaders demonstrated their commitment to reducing the harmful emissions warming our planet, and encouraged other world leaders to follow suit in offering strong national targets ahead of the final negotiations in Paris.

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Announced an additional Joint Presidential Statement on Climate Change with China’s President Xi Jinping that further defined implementation of the countries’ post-2020 emissions targets

In November 2014, President Barack Obama and President Xi Jinping stood together in Beijing to make a historic U.S.-China Joint Announcement on Climate Change, emphasizing their personal commitment to a successful climate agreement in Paris and marking a new era of multilateral climate diplomacy as well as a new pillar in their bilateral relationship. On the occasion of President Xi’s State Visit to Washington, D.C., the two Presidents reaffirm their shared conviction that climate change is one of the greatest threats facing humanity and that their two countries have a critical role to play in addressing it.

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Led over 190 countries in securing both a global standard to reduce carbon emissions from commercial aircraft and an innovative, market-oriented, and industry supported agreement to limit emissions across the aviation sector

FACT SHEET: 191 Countries Reach a Global Climate Deal for International Aviation

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FACT SHEET: U.S. Leadership in Securing First-Ever Global Carbon Emissions Standards for Commercial Airplanes

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Launched Mission Innovation, a landmark commitment to double public funding for clean energy research and development to $30 billion in five years

Collaborating with 20 private investors from around the world that launched the Breakthrough Energy Coalition, which culminated in 2016 with the launch of Breakthrough Energy Ventures, a $1 billion dollar fund to invest in developing clean energy technologies.

Through the initiative, 20 countries are committing to double their respective clean energy research and development (R&D) investment over five years. These countries include the top five most populous nations – China, India, the United States, Indonesia, and Brazil. They stretch across five continents. And when you add all partner countries together, they represent 75 percent of the world’s CO2 emissions from electricity, and more than 80 percent of the world’s clean energy R&D investment. These additional public resources will be supported by the Breakthrough Energy Coalition, an independent effort by 28 top private investors from around the world, led by Bill Gates, to commit unprecedented levels of private capital to help bring breakthrough energy technologies to the market in Mission Innovation member countries.

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The Administration also released a Framework for Mission Innovation, which outlines examples of proven and powerful approaches to research, development, and demonstration of breakthrough technologies that will be critical elements to the U.S. domestic implementation of Mission Innovation.

Pledged $3 billion to support the Green Climate Fund to reduce carbon pollution and strengthen resilience in developing countries, especially the poorest and most vulnerable. The GCF will play an important role in improving resilience to climate impacts and addressing the security risks associated with climate change.

FACT SHEET: United States Support for Global Efforts to Combat Carbon Pollution and Build Resilience

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Along with Canada and Mexico, proposed an amendment to the Montreal Protocol to phase down production and consumption of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), potent greenhouse gases. At the Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol in November, Parties agreed to work together on an amendment in 2016. Phasing out these substances could avoid up to 0.5°C of warming by the end of the century

United States and Other Countries to Work Together on Phase Down of HFCs

The United States is work together and with other countries to use the expertise and institutions of the Montreal Protocol to phase down the consumption and production of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), among other forms of multilateral cooperation. A global phase down of HFCs could potentially reduce some 90 gigatons of CO2 equivalent by 2050, equal to roughly two years worth of current global greenhouse gas emissions.

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Committed to doubling the $400 million per year of grant-based resources in global climate adaptation by 2020

Secretary of State John Kerry announced that the United States will double its grant-based, public climate finance for adaptation by 2020. As of 2014, the United States invested more than $400 million per year of grant-based resources for climate adaptation in developing countries. These investments provide vulnerable countries with support — through both bilateral and multilateral channels — to reduce climate risks in key areas, including infrastructure, agriculture, health and water services.

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Fostered a commitment by more than 30 countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to dramatically reduce financing for coal-fired power plants overseas

“APEC joined the G20 in sending an unequivocal message that we need to reach an ambitious climate change agreement in Paris. I also want to note the landmark step we took this week with more than 30 other nations at the OECD to dramatically reduce subsidies for coal-fired power plants around the world — which is an important way to advance the fight against climate change.” -—President Obama

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Announced joint measures with Brazil, in which both countries will increase the share of renewables, beyond hydropower, in their respective electricity generation mixes to 20 percent by 2030, and Brazil will restore and reforest 12 million hectares of forests, roughly the size of Pennsylvania, by 2030

U.S.-Brazil Joint Statement on Climate Change

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Announced climate cooperation with Indonesia, including an unprecedented level of collaboration to conserve ecosystems, promote climate change adaptation, and foster the next generation of scientists. The partnerships represent approximately $60 million under the Tropical Forest Conservation Act and $50 million under the Millennium Challenge Corporation compact

FACT SHEET: U.S.-Indonesia Climate Cooperation

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Announced bilateral cooperation with India to adopt and develop clean energy solutions to help transition toward a climate-resilient, low-carbon economy

Fact Sheet: U.S. and India Climate and Clean Energy Cooperation

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FACT SHEET: The United States and India – Moving Forward Together on Climate Change, Clean Energy, Energy Security, and the Environment

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Announced a new public-private partnership to ensure that the climate data and products made available by U.S. technical agencies are useful to developing countries

FACT SHEET: The President’s Climate Data Initiative: Empowering America’s Communities to Prepare for the Effects of Climate Change

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Built deeper collaborations with North American Leaders Canada and Mexico, including expanded efforts to combat climate change and promote clean energy, and joined Canada and Mexico in committing to reduce methane emissions from the oil and gas sector by 40 to 45% below 2012 levels by 2025.

FACT SHEET: United States Key Deliverables for the 2016 North American Leaders’ Summit

Announced initiatives to enhance North America’s economic competitiveness; expand our efforts on climate change, clean energy, and the environment; solidify our regional and global cooperation; and strengthen our security and defense.

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U.S.-Canada Joint Statement on Climate, Energy, and Arctic Leadership

President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau share a common vision of a prosperous and sustainable North American economy, and the opportunities afforded by advancing clean growth.

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Joined ten other countries in announcing contributions totaling $248 million to the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF), which plays a key role in addressing urgent and immediate adaptation needs of least developed countries

These contributions to the LDCF will continue supporting priorities identified by recipient countries that are essential for climate-resilient sustainable development and livelihoods.

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Launched an international public-private partnership, the Climate Services for Resilient Development, to empower developing nations to boost their own climate resilience by providing needed climate services — including actionable science, data, information, tools, and training.

The Climate Services for Resilient Development Partnership, initially announced by the President at the UN Climate Summit in New York last September, will provide actionable science, data, information, tools, and training to developing countries that are working to strengthen their national resilience against the impacts of climate change. The Partnership is launching with more than $34 million in financial and in-kind contributions from the U.S. government and seven other founding-partner institutions from around the world: the American Red Cross, Asian Development Bank, Esri, Google, Inter-American Development Bank, the Skoll Global Threats Fund, and the U.K. government.

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Announced a contribution of $30 million to support insurance initiatives under the Pacific Catastrophic Risk Assessment and Financing Initiative, expand the Caribbean Catastrophic Risk Insurance Facility to cover Central American countries, and support the African Risk Capacity program

Expanding Climate Risk Insurance in Developing Countries:

This announcement is an important step toward the goal G-7 leaders set this summer to increase by up to 400 million the number of people in the most vulnerable developing countries who will have access to insurance against the negative impacts of related hazards by 2020.

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Released high-resolution elevation data globally to help local communities mitigate the impacts of frequent river basin flooding, storm surges, and sea-level rise

Unleashing Data and Tools to Boost Climate Resilience in India

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New Elevation Map Details Alaska like Never Before

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Reduced tariffs on environmental goods, which range from clean technology for air conditioners to wind turbines to bicycles, to fulfill a commitment made by the 21 Leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum and pursued an expansion of that commitment through a more comprehensive agreement on environmental goods among interested members of the WTO.

Promoting Green Goods Trade to Address Climate Change

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Issued an executive order requiring that federal agencies screen their international development investments and programs for climate risks

Executive Order — Climate-Resilient International Development

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Launched a public-private partnership with Norway and the United Kingdom to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest deregulation

Promoting Green Goods Trade to Address Climate Change

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Protected Our Climate, Our Air, and Our Water

Established new standards for cleaner gasoline and vehicles to reduce harmful air pollution

President Obama Announces Historic 54.5 mpg Fuel Efficiency Standard

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Signed, as the culmination of years of bipartisan effort, a bill to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the first major update to an environmental statute in 20 years. The updated law gives EPA the authorities we needed to help protect American families from the health effects of dangerous chemicals.

Remarks by the President at Bill Signing of the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act

“The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act for the 21st Century will make it easier for the EPA to review chemicals already on the market, as well as the new chemicals our scientists and our businesses design. It will do away with an outdated bureaucratic formula to evaluate safety, and instead focus solely on the risks to our health. And it will finally grant our scientists and our public servants at the EPA the funding they need to get the job done and keep us safe.”

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Set tighter standards for ozone pollution that will deliver 2-4 dollars in benefits for every dollar spent—reducing premature deaths, childhood asthma attacks, and cases of acute bronchitis among children

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EPA Strengthens Ozone Standards to Protect Public Health/Science-based standards to reduce sick days, asthma attacks, emergency room visits, greatly outweigh costs:

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Read even more with this By the Numbers PDF from the EPA.

Updated drinking water standards, protected drinking water sources, and modernized the tools available to communities to meet their clean water requirements, while providing affordable clean water services in rural communities

Released a national Clean Water Framework that recognizes the importance of clean water and healthy watersheds to our economy, environment and communities, and emphasizes the importance of partnerships and coordination with states, local communities, stakeholders, and the public to protect public health and water quality, and promote the nation’s energy and economic security.

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Promulgated the Clean Water Rule to provide the clarity and certainty businesses and industry need about which waters are protected by the Clean Water Act, and ensure that these waters can be protected from pollution

“With today’s rule, we take another step towards protecting the waters that belong to all of us.” — President Obama on finalizing the Clean Water Rule

President Obama is restoring protections for streams and wetlands

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Overhauled our nation’s offshore energy program by raising the bar at every stage of oil and gas development through new standards for safety and environmental systems, well design, production systems, blowout prevention, well control equipment and emergency response; ensuring that any oil and gas exploration offshore Alaska is subject to strong standards specifically tailored to the region’s challenging and unforgiving conditions; and strengthening federal oversight by restructuring to create three independent regulatory agencies that have clear missions and better resources to keep pace with a rapidly evolving industry.

The Department of the Interior announced final well control regulations to reduce the risk of an offshore oil or gas blowout that could result in the loss of life, serious injuries or substantial harm to the environment.

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The Department of the Interior announced final regulations to ensure that any future exploratory drilling activities on the U.S. Arctic Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) are conducted under the highest safety and environmental standards and subject to strong and proven operational requirements.

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Adopted a balanced approach to best meet the nation’s energy needs by making available for leasing areas offshore with high resource potential and mature infrastructure while protecting regions with critical ecological resources

2017-2022 OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Program offers 70 percent of economically recoverable resources while ensuring protection of critical areas, including the Arctic.

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Presidential Memorandum — Withdrawal of Certain Areas of the United States Outer Continental Shelf Offshore Alaska from Leasing Disposition

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Cut Energy Waste

Established the Better Buildings Challenge to enlist cities, states, utilities, manufacturers, school districts, and businesses to improve energy efficiency, targeting heavy users such as data centers and outdoor lighting systems

President Obama’s Plan to Win the Future by Making American Businesses More Energy Efficient through the “Better Buildings Initiative”

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Set new energy efficiency standards for appliances and equipment, which have cut consumers’ electricity bills by hundreds of billions of dollars. Taken together, the final energy conservation standards completed during this Administration add up to more than 2 billion metric tons of carbon emissions by 2030, and we are on track to meet the Climate Action Plan’s goal of cutting 3 billion metric tons of energy waste by 2030

Memo on Appliance Efficiency Standards

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Worked with companies, mayors, university presidents, and labor leaders to drive $4 billion of investment in energy efficiency upgrades for public and private buildings

We’re Using More Clean Energy than Ever Before:

Announcing $4 billion in new clean energy commitments from investors and foundations.

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Performed energy efficiency upgrades in nearly two million homes across the country

In President Obama’s first term, DOE and HUD completed efficiency upgrades in nearly two million homes, saving many families more than $400 on their heating and cooling bills in the first year alone.

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Prepared Our Communities for the Impacts of Climate Change

Established the State, Local, and Tribal Leaders Task Force to advise the Administration on how to better support communities preparing for climate change on the local level

“As part of his Climate Action Plan, President Obama signed an Executive Order on November 1st, 2013 establishing a Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience to advise the Administration on how the Federal Government can respond to the needs of communities nationwide that are dealing with the impacts of climate change. The Task Force members, which include governors, mayors, county officials, and Tribal leaders from across the country, met throughout the year and used their first-hand experiences in building climate preparedness and resilience in their communities to inform their recommendations to the Administration.”

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Directed federal agencies to develop adaptation plans to reduce the vulnerability of federal programs, assets, and investments to the impacts of climate change

“Since taking office, President Obama has taken unprecedented action to invest in our natural resources and work with American business leaders who understand that taking action to increase environmental protections is good for the future of our planet and their bottom line. Last month, the White House announced that 81 companies from all 50 states signed the American Business Act on Climate Pledge to commit to reducing emissions and support a strong international climate agreement.”

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Worked with communities to support investments in resilient infrastructure in the areas impacted by Hurricane Sandy and elsewhere, ensuring that infrastructure is built to withstand future disasters

“To ensure communities are better prepared for the impacts of climate change today and tomorrow, we continue to ensure that we are making decisions based on the latest science and data, we are responding to community-driven priorities, we are doing all that we can to serve vulnerable communities, and we are collaborating with partners to maximize impact. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Federal agencies incorporated the best available science and data, including sea level rise projections and climate resilience, into project planning and design.”

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Launched the National Disaster Resilience Competition to help communities that have experienced major natural disasters to rebuild and better prepare for extreme weather

FACT SHEET: National Disaster Resilience Competition

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Released the third U.S. National Climate Assessment — the most comprehensive scientific report on domestic climate change impacts ever generated — and advanced the development of a “sustained assessment” process to provide a steady stream of information on the current and projected impacts of climate change in the United States

VIDEO: The National Climate Assessment Explained in Less than 3 Minutes -> youtu.be/2dIheuvIKDg

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Released “The Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States: A Scientific Assessment,” which significantly advanced scientific knowledge regarding the impacts of climate change on public health

Get the Facts: How Climate Change Can Affect Your Health

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Convened the first Summit on Climate Change and Health to stimulate a national dialogue on preventing the health impacts of climate change

Your Health and Our Environment: How Can We Protect Both?

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Launched the Climate Data Initiative — a broad effort to leverage the federal government’s extensive, freely-available, climate-relevant data resources to stimulate innovation and private-sector entrepreneurship in support of national climate-change preparedness

FACT SHEET: The President’s Climate Data Initiative: Empowering America’s Communities to Prepare for the Effects of Climate Change

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Developed the Climate Resilience Toolkit to provide centralized, authoritative, easy-to-use information to help communities prepare for the impacts of climate change

A Toolkit to Help Communities Respond to a Changing Climate

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Launched the Partnership for Resilience and Preparedness, a public-private collaboration among federal agencies, non-governmental organizations, private-sector companies, and civil-society organizations, focused on identifying priority climate-information needs, reducing barriers to data access and usability, and developing an open-source platform to enable sharing and learning on the availability and use of data and information for climate resilience.

FACT SHEET: Launching New Public-Private Partnership and Announcing Joint Declaration on Leveraging Open Data for Climate Resilience

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Announced Resilience Dialogues, an online consultation service, currently in beta form, that will allow community leaders to engage in facilitated, expedited, and tailored dialogues with scientists, resilience practitioners, and subject-matter experts

FACT SHEET: Launching the Resilience Dialogues

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Hosted the first White House Water Summit to shine a spotlight on the importance of cross-cutting, creative solutions to solving the water problems of today

The White House Water Summit also highlighted the innovative strategies that will catalyze change in how we use, conserve, protect, and think about water in the years to come. In addition, more than 150 external institutions joined the federal government in announcing new efforts and commitments to enhance the sustainability of water in the United States by managing our water resources and infrastructure for the long term.

FACT SHEET: Working Together to Build a Sustainable Water Future

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Issued a Presidential Memorandum and supporting Action Plan on building national capabilities for long-term drought resilience in the United States, including by setting drought resilience policy goals, directing specific drought resilience activities

PRESIDENTIAL MEMORANDUM – Building National Capabilities for Long-Term Drought Resilience

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Established the Arctic Executive Steering Committee to coordinate national efforts in the Arctic, and to strengthen cooperation among Federal agencies, State, local, tribal, academic, private and other groups to mitigate the impacts of climate change in the Arctic.

Executive Order — Enhancing Coordination of National Efforts in the Arctic

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Announced a comprehensive agenda to enhance the resilience of America’s natural resources to the impacts of climate change and promote their ability to absorb carbon dioxide

FACT SHEET: Building community resilience by strengthening America’s natural resources and supporting green infrastructure

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Supported tribes preparing for climate change through adaptation and training, data and information, and improved federal collaboration

Federal agencies are partnering with states, tribes, local governments and diverse stakeholders on innovative approaches to restore urban waters, promote sustainable water supplies, and develop new incentives for farmers to protect clean water.

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Launched the Resilience AmeriCorps to increase civic engagement and community resilience in low-income areas

Resilience AmeriCorps Announces Ten Cities for Its Pilot Program to Support Communities in Building Capacity and Technical Support for Climate Resilience

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Launched the Climate Education and Literacy Initiative to ensure that all students and citizens have the knowledge and training they need to address the climate change challenge

A Call to Action to Advance Climate Education and Literacy

Climate education and literacy are a critical part of this STEM skillset and are particularly important for building a 21st-century workforce, where tomorrow’s community leaders, city planners, and entrepreneurs have the information, knowledge, and training to make sound decisions and grow businesses in the context of a changing climate.

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Announced the commitments of 97 colleges, universities, associations, and academic centers around the country to ensure that the next generation of design professionals are prepared to design and build for extreme weather events and the impacts of climate change

FACT SHEET: Obama Administration Highlights Opportunities for Building Community Climate Resilience across the Nation

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Developed and is implementing a national wildfire management strategy focused on fire adapted communities, response to wildfires, and restoring and maintaining landscapes

Progress Report: Highlighting Federal Actions Addressing the Recommendations of the State, Local, and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience

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Issued an Executive Order on mitigating wildfire risk to federal buildings located in the Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) to reduce risks to people and to help minimize property loss to wildfire

The White House also hosted a White House roundtable to discuss wildfire mitigation and firefighter safety and to identify further policy actions needed to enhance community resilience within the WUI.

Executive Order — Wildland-Urban Interface Federal Risk Mitigation

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FACT SHEET – Mitigating the Risk of Wildfires in the Wildland-Urban Interface

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Supported expanded use of green infrastructure techniques to improve natural management of stormwater and boost community resilience to flooding and other impacts of climate change

Using Green Infrastructure to Enhance Coastal Resilience

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Established a new flood standard to reduce the cost of future flood disasters by requiring federally funded projects to meet higher flood risk standards

This new resilience standard will help ensure taxpayer dollars are well spent on infrastructure that can better withstand the impacts of flooding. Agencies will have the flexibility to choose among different approaches to apply the resilience standard — by using the best methods informed by the best available, actionable climate science; by building two or three feet, depending on how critical the structure is, above the 100-year flood level; or by building above the 500-year flood level.

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Hosted a White House Conference on Resilient Building Codes and announced new federal and private sector efforts to advance the principles of resilience in building codes and standards, and building design.

FACT SHEET: Obama Administration Announces Public and Private Sector Efforts to Increase Community Resilience through Building Codes and Standards

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BLOG: Advancing Resilience through Building Codes and Standards

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Hosted a White House Forum on Smart Finance for Disaster Resilience to highlight innovations in disaster mitigation and resilience finance, including emerging public-private collaborations with banking, insurance, and financial services sectors

BLOG: Getting smart about how we finance disaster resilience

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Invested in health and retirement programs for mineworkers and their families, and funded the accelerated cleanup of abandoned mine lands

Investing in Coal Communities, Workers, and Technology: The POWER+ Plan

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Trained more than 15,000 religious and community leaders on how to prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters

Since 2009, the Department of Homeland Security’s Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships (DHS CFBNP) has been deployed in support of 20 Presidentially-declared disasters, which include communities in Alaska, Illinois and Tennessee; and provided technical assistance, training and expertise to more than 15,000 leaders representing diverse faith-based and community-based organizations on topics related to disaster recovery and protecting houses of worship. In addition, DHS CFBNP facilitated the connection of more than 2,000 groups with homeland security and emergency management officials nationwide. These efforts helped shape the development of a community-engagement process on topics such as “religious and cultural literacy and competency in disasters.”

Protected Treasured Natural Resources

Signed the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009, the most extensive expansion of land and water conservation in more than a generation, which designated more than 2 million acres of Federal wilderness and protected thousands of miles of trails and more than one thousand miles of rivers

Remarks of the President at Signing of the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act of 2009

“And that is what this bill does from coast to coast.  It protects treasured places from the Appalachians of Virginia and West Virginia to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula; from the canyons of Idaho to the sandstone cliffs of Utah; from the Sierra Nevadas in California to the Badlands of Oregon. It designates more than 2 million acres across nine states as wilderness; almost as much as was designated over the past eight years combined. It creates thousands of miles of new scenic, historic, and recreational trails, cares for our historic battlefields, strengthens our National Park System. It safeguards more than 1,000 miles of our rivers, protects watersheds and cleans up polluted groundwater, defends our oceans and Great Lakes, and will revitalize our fisheries, returning fish to rivers that have not seen them in decades.”

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Developed an aggressive program to combat illegal fishing and enforce fishery rules

“On December 8, 2016, NOAA Fisheries released the final rule establishing the Seafood Import Monitoring Program (SIMP).  The Program establishes, for imports of certain seafood products, the reporting and recordkeeping requirements needed to prevent illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU)-caught and/or misrepresented seafood from entering U.S. commerce, thereby providing additional protections for our national economy, global food security and the sustainability of our shared ocean resources. This is the first-phase of a risk-based traceability program…”

NOAA.gov: IUU FISHING AND SEAFOOD FRAUD WEB PORTAL

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Created the largest marine monument in the world, which is completely off-limits to commercial resource extraction

“Today, President Obama will expand the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument off the coast of Hawaii. Building on the United States’ global leadership in marine conservation, today’s designation will more than quadruple the size of the existing marine monument, permanently protecting pristine coral reefs, deep sea marine habitats, and important ecological resources in the waters of the Northwest Hawaiian Islands.   The expansion provides critical protections for more than 7,000 marine species, including whales and sea turtles listed under the Endangered Species Act and the longest-living marine species in the world — black coral, which have been found to live longer than 4,500 years.  As ocean acidification, warming, and other impacts of climate change threaten marine ecosystems, expanding the monument will improve ocean resilience, help the region’s distinct physical and biological resources adapt, and create a natural laboratory that will allow scientists to monitor and explore the impacts of climate change on these fragile ecosystems.”

Fact Sheet: President Obama to Create the World’s Largest Marine Protected Area

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FACT SHEET: President Obama to Designate Largest Marine Monument in the World Off-Limits to Development

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Dedicated unprecedented attention and resources to restoring iconic places like the Chesapeake Bay, California Bay-Delta, Great Lakes, and Everglades

In the Everglades alone, the Administration has invested $2.2 billion in restoration efforts, with the President’s 2016 Budget proposing nearly $240 million more. In addition to protecting the primary source of drinking water for more than a third of Florida’s population, these efforts are helping ensure that the Florida Everglades – a major driver of the local economy – are resilient to effects of climate change like saltwater intrusion and invasive species.

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Announced more recoveries under the Endangered Species Act than has been done under any previous administration

Sage Grouse Photo

Thanks to the strong conservation efforts of various western leaders, the Greater Sage-Grouse no longer requires protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA)

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Released the National Strategy for Pollinator Health and a Pollinator Research Action Plan in order to coordinate and expand Federal efforts to protect honeybees, monarch butterflies, and other pollinators nationwide

In 2014, beekeepers reported losing about 40% of honey bee colonies, threatening the viability of their livelihoods and the essential pollination services their bees provide to agriculture. Monarch butterflies, too, are in jeopardy. The number of overwintering monarchs in Mexico’s forests has declined by 90% or more over the past two decades, placing the iconic annual North American Monarch migration at risk.

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Launched an “Every Kid in a Park” initiative that provides all fourth-grade students and their families free admission to all Federal lands and waters for a full year

President Obama is committed to giving every kid the chance to explore America’s great outdoors and unique history. That’s why he launched the Every Kid in a Park initiative, which calls on each of our agencies to help get all children to visit and enjoy the outdoors and inspire a new generation of Americans to experience their country’s unrivaled public lands and waters. Starting in September of 2015, every fourth-grader in the nation will receive an “Every Kid in a Park” pass that’s good for free admission to all of America’s federal lands and waters — for them and their families — for a full year.

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Taken unprecedented steps to prevent wildlife trafficking and implement the strongest environmental standards in an international trade deal

President Obama's trade deal includes the strongest environmental commitments ever — combatting wildlife trafficking, illegal logging, and illegal fishing.

“Environmentalists praise wildlife measures in Trans-Pacific trade pact” → http://nyti.ms/1Q0NngA #TPP

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Established the Gulf Restoration Council through the RESTORE Act, bringing five states and six Federal agencies together to restore Gulf Coast ecosystems and communities

Executive Order — Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration

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The Work Ahead

President Obama asked each member of his Cabinet to write an Exit Memo on the progress we’ve made, their vision for the country’s future, and the work that remains in order to achieve that vision. Here are their key points on the work ahead to protect the environment and address climate change.

Leading the Global Community in Fighting Climate Change

“We can build on the foundation of Paris by helping ensure countries take action in a manner that supports their development and the U.S. economy, and we can lead the world in developing and deploying the clean technologies that will create jobs and drive major investment over the coming decades. The international community expects nothing less – and will react in a highly unfavorable manner if we abdicate our responsibility.”
Secretary Kerry

Reducing Harmful Emissions

“To continue to reduce air pollution, the agency will need to address a myriad of environmental concerns. This includes addressing emerging air quality challenges related to diesel emissions and the various forms of transportation used in and around our marine ports. In the years ahead, there will be a continued focus on technological approaches to address vehicle emissions—manufacturers and the market will continue to trend toward greater utilization of electric and zero-emission vehicles. And as the world changes and evolves, we must be prepared to participate in future conversations about carbon markets and emissions trading programs.”
Administrator McCarthy

Transitioning to a Clean Energy Economy

“To achieve the deep decarbonization necessary later in the century, we need an economy-wide approach that focuses on each of the major sectors that use energy: electricity, buildings, transportation, and industry, along with large scale carbon management.  An approach that combines significantly increased investment in innovation with smartly-designed public policies will accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy, promote American leadership in clean energy technology development and export markets, and create new U.S. jobs.”
Secretary Moniz

Managing our Nation’s Energy Resources

“The Department [of the Interior] must continue to manage our nation’s energy resources with taxpayers, climate change, the environment, and communities all in mind.  This mandate includes devoting resources and expertise to ensure the coal program review is comprehensive, on time, and provides answers to complex questions – while also working across the government to provide assistance to coal communities.  This includes extending similar analysis and reforms to other fossil fuels. This includes ensuring American taxpayers are getting the maximum benefit from development of their resources by continuing to take a hard look at royalty rates.  And it includes picking up the mantle on bonding requirements for industry, ensuring that companies can’t walk away from their reclamation obligations. With high-level engagement and additional resources, the Department will be well-equipped to continue our progress toward a sustainable and self-reliant energy future.”
Secretary Jewell

Protecting and Conserving our Sacred Natural Resources

“As we look to the next 100 years of conservation, we face immense challenges.  Climate change threatens our lands and waters in existential ways.  A growing population, coupled with stretched budgets, puts more demand on our natural, cultural, and human resources.  We have laid a solid foundation to meet these challenges, and encourage our successors to continue to ensure the sustainability of our land, water, and wildlife for the next century and beyond.”
Secretary Jewell

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