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Oxfam America's reaction to President Obama's climate speech

By Oxfam

In response to the speech by President Obama at Ban Ki-moon’s UN climate summit, Raymond C. Offenheiser, President of Oxfam America said,

“President Obama's speech today was encouraging and the Administration’s recent actions to curb emissions demonstrate leadership, but US policy on the whole does not reflect the urgency of the President’s rhetoric. The President reemphasized the Administration’s ongoing promise to meet its existing emissions targets and set new ones. However, it will be impossible to fulfill the agreements made in the Copenhagen Accord to keep global emissions in line with a 2 degree Celsius target without more substantial action by Congress and the President. New efforts must deliver much needed climate finance for poor countries and take further measures to reduce emissions in the US.

“Today’s new executive order on resilience marks a step in the right direction. USAID has already been factoring climate change into its investments since 2012, and it is promising that other US funded agencies will begin to do the same. Nevertheless, without additional financial commitments ultimately these actions will be a drop in the bucket when it comes to the United States’ responsibility to deliver on its obligations under the Copenhagen Accord.

“Our elected leaders should recognize that with hundreds of thousands of people taking to the streets this week to urge action on climate change - one of the largest mobilizations in recent history on any issue - the politics of the climate are changing.”

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