Obama: 'One of the Most Urgent Challenges of Our Time is Climate Change'

By Susan Jones | August 15, 2016 | 6:02 AM EDT

President Obama delivering his weekly address, Aug. 13, 2016. (Screen Capture)

(CNSNews.com) - President Barack Obama picked one of the hottest weekends in the Northeastern U.S. to discuss climate change.

"One of the most urgent challenges of our time is climate change," the vacationing president said in his Saturday radio address. He touted his efforts to cut pollution, including from cars and trucks, assuring Americans, "we're not done yet."

Obama announced that before he leaves office, "We'll release a second round of fuel efficiency standards for heavy-duty vehicles. We'll take steps to meet the goal we set with Canada and Mexico to achieve 50 percent clean power across North America by 2025. And we'll continue to protect our lands and waters so that our kids and grandkids can enjoy our most beautiful spaces for generations."

According to the Associated Press, Obama has created or expanded 24 national monuments during his seven-and-a-half-year tenure, the most of any president. And to cement his environmental legacy, he's expected to set aside even more federal lands and waters:

The AP reports that serious efforts are underway in Utah, Arizona, Nevada, Maine and elsewhere to get Obama to designate even more national monuments. Environmental activists aren't just focused on land. They're also urging greater protections for vast swaths of ocean bottom off the coasts of New England, California and Hawaii.

Obama on Saturday noted that during his two terms, "we've made ambitious investments in clean energy and ambitious reductions in our carbon emissions." He said carbon pollution from enery is at a 25-year low, "even as we're continuing to grow our economy."

But economic growth in President Obama's two terms has been anemic.

As CNSNews.com reported in July, Barack Obama may become the first president Since Herbert Hoover not to see 3 percent GDP growth. Since 2005, the United States has gone a record ten straight years (2006-2015) without a year in which the growth in real GDP was at least 3.0 percent.

Obama said advances in energy efficient appliances have saved families money. And he said his administration has "set the first-ever national standards limiting the amount of carbon pollution power plants can release into the sky."

But Obama's Clean Power Plan is on hold. In February, the Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, blocked the coal-busting plan from taking effect until the legal challenges from 25 states and other groups are heard. That won't happen until after Obama leaves office.

"There's still much more to do," Obama told his radio audience. "But there's no doubt that America has become a global leader in the fight against climate change.

"Last year, that leadership helped us bring nearly 200 nations together in Paris around the most ambitious agreement in history to save the one planet we've got. That's not something to tear up -- it's something to build upon. And if we keep pushing, and leading the world in the right direction, there's no doubt that, together, we can leave a better, cleaner, safer future for our children."


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