Climate change – it’s all about the jobs: USA

Taking action on climate change is all about generating new jobs and protecting national security, according to some of the USA's top politicians.

Addressing a packed press conference in Copenhagen, the Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi launched her speech with a soundbite: ‘It’s all about the jobs’.

Her colleagues went on to say developing a low carbon economy was about weening the country of foreign oil supplies and therefore protecting national security.

On relevance to the global stage, one of the high-level delegation of senior Representatives said the actions of other nations would help justify action at home.

“Americans are going to ask what are other countries going to do,” he said.

Saving the world got scant mention during the half-hour briefing.

The Representatives were keen to show the USA’s commitment to climate change under the new administration, pointing to the Bill awaiting approval of the Senate that would set medium-term targets of a 17% cut to carbon emissions, with cuts of over 80% by 2050.

The briefing choreographed to highlight the good work being done by the USA appeared to leave both sides a little confused and wary, with the Americans apparently expecting a warmer reception and the rest of the world an announcement with more substance.

Their Representative’s position seemed to be running on not-quite-parallel tracks to that of the Europeans.

While politicians on this side of the Atlantic make no bones about the fact that there’s money to be made in a green revolution, it’s usually presented as a fringe benefit to averting climate catastrophe, rather than the other way round.

Sam Bond

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie