On Tuesday, President Obama delivered a major speech on climate change at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. where he laid out his plan for reducing U.S. carbon emissions.
Ahead of the speech, the NOW with Alex Wagner panel discussed the president’s record on climate change with help from Earth-Echo International founder, Philippe Cousteau.
“It’s been a little disappointing over the last term and a half,” Cousteau said of the president’s environmental record to date. “There’s been a lot of talk, but not a lot of concrete action.”
Still, Cousteau said, he and many members of the environmental movement were pleased with today’s call for tougher emissions standards on existing power plants.
“This has been very, very contentious,” he said. “We have to remember that the number one polluter of carbon dioxide is existing power plants, so this is a big step forward in the right direction.”
Currently, about 40% of U.S. emissions come from power plants. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. is responsible for 19% of the world’s CO2 emissions–second only to China–despite having just 4.5% of the world’s population.
President Obama also faces an American public seemingly less concerned about the threat of climate change than those on other continents.