The victory of Barack Obama in last week’s Iowa elections came as a big surprise for the EU elites who had already put all their money on a new Clinton Presidency. If Obama continues his winning streak on Tuesday on New Hampshire, European policymakers and lobbyists will have to learn more about the positions of the Illinois Senator.
Therefore, let’s have a closer look at Obama’s positions on climate and energy issues. Here are some of the main policy actions he put forward in the last year (sources The Grist: Factsheet Obama on energy and climate change and Ligue of Conservation Voters):
- 80% cut of US emissions by 2050 (compared to 1990)
- introduction of a cap-and-trade system with 100% auctioning
- 25% of US electricity to come from renewables by 2025
- improving energy efficiency 50% by 2030
- new buildings in US to be carbon neutral by 2030
- raising fuel-economy standards for automobiles to 40 miles per gallon by 2020
- support for coal-to-liquids (Illinois is a coal state) but only if it reduces carbon emissions by 20% compared to conventional gasoline
- sceptical about the future of nuclear power
- has taken stance against offshore drilling
The Grist also has an excellent interview on the record with Obama.
Of course, these are his positions before being President. We have seen from George W. Bush that, once in power, and in the line of lobbying fire, campaign positions can easily change. Candidate Bush was in favour of cutting greenhouse gases to tackle climate change :)