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June 28, 2014

Domestic actions on climate change will bolster international negotiations, says Obama environmental policy leader

By Mark Golden

STANFORD, Calif.—It may have taken a while to start, but on climate change the United States is first walking the talk.

The Obama administration’s moves to curb domestic emissions of greenhouse gases will provide credibility as it pursues international agreement on the issue either globally or with only a few key countries, the acting chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, Michael Boots, said at Stanford University’s Silicon Valley Energy Summit.

Michael Boots"Frankly, the world got used to the United States not being a leader on the climate issue," said Boots. "The president feels very, very strongly that we need to do as much as we can on the domestic front to send a strong signal before we ask others to do the same."

In early June, the Environmental Protection Agency took its boldest step yet on climate change by announcing plans to cut emissions of carbon dioxide from the country’s fleet of coal-fired power plants, which generate about 40 percent of U.S. electricity.

"We needed what the EPA did to be a base for some discussions heading to Paris in 2015," said Boots, adding that the administration feels it is on a good trajectory leading up to those global negotiations. Read More...


Michael Boots photo

Michael Boots
Acting Chair, White House
Council on Environmental Quality

Jennifer Granholmm photo

Jennifer Granholm
Former Governor of Michigan;
Practitioner of Law and Public Policy, UC Berkeley

Stefan Heck photo

Stefan Heck
Former Director, McKinsey, Cleantech and Sustainability Practices;
Consulting Professor, Stanford

George Shultz photo

Secretary George Shultz
Former U.S. Secretary of State, Treasury and Labor;
Chair, Hoover Institution Energy Policy Task Force

Cathy Zoi photo

Cathy Zoi
Former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Energy;
Consulting Professor, Stanford

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The Precourt Energy Efficiency Center promotes energy-efficient technologies, systems and practices, emphasizing economically attractive deployment. PEEC works to understand and overcome market, policy, technology and human behavior barriers, and informs public and private policymaking.