Obama administration’s actions undermine strong words on climate change at UN General Assembly
WASHINGTON, D.C. – As President Obama delivered his final address to the United Nations today at the General Assembly in New York City, Friends of the Earth U.S. President, Erich Pica, had the following response:
As he takes his final victory lap of international diplomacy, President Obama has talked eloquently about the horrific threat climate change poses to future generations. Yet even as he attends the last United Nations General Assembly of his presidency, his administration’s actions undermine the strong words on climate change he delivered in New York today.
President Obama touted the Trans Pacific Partnership as a global agreement that raises environmental standards; the opposite is true. The TPP would ramp up global warming by increasing U.S. coal, oil, gas and meat exports the world over. Moreover, the TPP would allow fossil fuel companies to turn to secretive international tribunals, where they can sue governments for millions or billions of dollars if climate policy interferes with future profits. The TPP is a bill of rights for corporate polluters.
President Obama spoke about needing a greater sense of urgency to bring the Paris climate agreement into force, but just last month his administration offered tens of millions of acres of the Gulf of Mexico for fossil fuel leasing. If President Obama is serious about his climate legacy, he must stop letting energy companies profit from turning our public lands and waters into energy sacrifice zones and keep fossil fuels in the ground for good.
President Obama also emphasized the importance of increasing investment by advanced economies into sustainable projects in developing countries. Yet the U.S. taxpayer-supported export credit agency, the Export-Import Bank of the United States, is considering no less than 12 dirty and destructive fossil fuel projects abroad.
All of these actions speak volumes about the Obama administration’s true priorities. It’s time for the United States government to walk the walk instead of just talking the talk.