World Wildlife Fund’s Lou Leonard, head of climate change, issued the following statement in response to remarks made by President Barack Obama during his inaugural address:
“It’s heartening to hear President Obama make climate change a key point in his inaugural address--we need his leadership on this issue now more than ever. The next four years are among the most important in human history. The world’s scientists tell us that the window for limiting climate disruption to manageable levels is closing and the decisions we make this decade will shape our future.
“We’ve seen a glimpse of this future in 2012. Communities all over America are facing increasing unprecedented extreme weather, record-busting temperatures and mounting economic and human costs from our failure to act. The President appears to see that his legacy will be shaped by how he responds to this greatest challenge. And history won’t accept Congressional intransigence as a reason not to act.
“Today’s address is an important first step for using the power of the Presidency to spur a practical national conversation on climate change. The importance of the President regularly raising his voice on this issue cannot be overstated. But a sustained national conversation isn’t enough. The President should lay out the steps he can and will take to clean up our energy system, help communities prepare for climate disruption and encourage the rest of the world to ramp up action.
This is his moment. The American people are looking for climate leadership. The President has the tools and America has the ingenuity and the solutions to face this great challenge.”