Barack Obama puts solar at forefront of ‘assault’ on climate change

Yesterday - President Barack Obama put solar at the forefront of a national strategy to cut carbon emissions in the United States as part of a "coordinated assault on a changing climate".

The US president's two-step climate action plan, launched at Georgetown University in Washington DC, includes regulatory efforts to curb emissions from fossil fuel power stations and to increase the use of clean energy.

"This plan begins with cutting carbon pollution by changing the way we use energy, using less dirty energy, using more clean energy wasting less energy throughout our economy," said Obama.

"Today, about 40% of America's carbon pollution comes from power plants. But there are no federal limits to the amount of carbon pollution those plants can pump into our air… for free. That's not right, that's not safe and it needs to stop."

Obama said he would direct the Environmental Protection Agency to complete new pollution standards for both new and existing power plants "for the sake of our children and the health and safety of all Americans".

President Obama also set a goal to double renewable electricity generation by 2020.

Obama said that he would also direct the administration to work with other countries on free trade agreements for environmental services, including clean energy.

"[This will] help more countries skip past the dirty phase of development and join a global low carbon economy," he said. "They don't have to repeat all the same mistakes that we've made."