On the evening of June 26th, the U.S. House of Representatives passed, by a narrow majority, a climate change bill designed to curb greenhouse gas emissions. Analysts believe that this bill’s passage is an important first step in the U.S.’s response to climate change.
A Bill of Great Significance
As the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, the seriousness with which America responds to global warming will have a great impact on the global community. The degree to which the U.S. takes responsibility for reducing emissions will directly impact the effectiveness of this year’s climate change conference in Copenhagen.
During the Bush administration, the U.S.’s withdrawal from the Kyoto Protocol disappointed the international community. The U.S. initially denied global warming altogether, and then refused to admit that global warming is caused by human activity. The U.S. only passively participated in international discussions of global warming. This year, the U.S. will be the target of criticism at international global warming conferences.
Since taking office, Obama has taken a stance markedly different from that of the Bush administration. In facing the global economic crisis, Obama has chosen to develop new energy resources, turning a crisis into an opportunity. Economic stimulus policies have led to a transformation of the economy, and in turn Congress has passed legislation that targets the climate change problem. The media has called the passage of the climate change bill on June 26th a victory for Obama.
This week, Obama has stated that this legislation will change how Americans produce and use energy. What’s more, in order to be a leader in the development of clean energy, the U.S. must adopt a 21st century global economy. Passages of the bill are designed to promote the development of clean energy technology, creating several million jobs. If this bill becomes law, it will stimulate a strategic transformation of the American economy and will also help the U.S. continue to be a global economic leader in the long term.
Eileen Claussen, the former Assistant Secretary of State and the director of the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, a famous American think tank, said after the bill was passed that this legislation has important international significance. She asserted that the bill will help America to work with other important economies in formulating a united response to global warming.