Obama puts renewables incentives in climate change plan

Obama puts renewables incentives in climate change plan

US President to tackle climate change with plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions from power plans by 32%

President Barack Obama is due to announce a major clean power plan which will see greenhouse gas emissions from power stations cut by nearly a third over the next 15 years.

Carbon emissions will be cut by 32% from 2005 levels by 2030. The administration will also attempt to incentivise states to take action by incentivising those that boost renewable sources like wind and solar in 2020 and 2021.

It is the strongest measures ever taken by a US President to tackle climate change, and comes ahead of a major Paris summit on climate change to be held in December.

The rules are a beefed up version of regulations proposed for the Environmental Protection Agency in 2012 and 2014 and could see hundreds of coal-fired power plants shut down and construction of new ones frozen.

It is also expected to create a boom in renewable energy production such as wind and solar power and will include a form of carbon-trading between states to create a market for buying permits or credits to pollute. The idea is that by forcing companies to pay for pollution it will drive them to cleaner sources of energy.

In a video posted on social media site Facebook on Saturday evening Obama said: "Our planet is changing, it is changing in ways that threaten our economy, our security and our health. This isn't opinion it is fact, backed up by decades of carefully collected data and overwhelming scientific consensus. And it has serious implications for the way we live now.

"On Monday my administration will release the final version of America's clean power plan. The biggest, most important step we've ever taken to tackle climate change. Power plants are the single biggest of the harmful carbon pollution which contributes to climate change.

"Existing power plants can still dump unlimited amounts of carbon pollution into the air we breathe. We have been working with states and power companies to make sure they have the flexibility they need to cut this poluttion all the while lowering energy bills and ensuring reliable service.

"It's time for America and the world to act on climate change."

The plans by Obama are expected to meet fierce resistance from dozens of states, industry bodies and power firms. As many as 25 states could file legal action with the U.S. supreme court challenging the decision.

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