Obama Says Climate Action is Needed for Peace in Nobel Speech

President Barack Obama nobel climate photo

Photo via the Guardian

Barack Obama headed to Oslo to receive his Nobel Prize today, and he took the opportunity to speak out on climate change. He noted in his acceptance speech that 'just peace' in the world will require meaningful climate action. He's right.Here's the chunk of his speech that pertains to global climate change. Obama said that:

the world must come together to confront climate change. There is little scientific dispute that if we do nothing, we will face more drought, famine and mass displacement that will fuel more conflict for decades. For this reason, it is not merely scientists and activists who call for swift and forceful action -- it is military leaders in my country and others who understand that our common security hangs in the balance.
That's absolutely right, and may be evidence that Obama won't be afraid to appeal to the hawkish aspects of climate action, which may be necessary in convincing many of the scale of the threat global warming presents. As Climate Progress points out, Obama actually had more to say about climate change during a brief press conference before the speech:
Something that obviously is pressing right now is the issue of climate change, and the Prime Minister and I discussed the ongoing meeting in Copenhagen, in which we're both strongly committed to a positive outcome. The United States has done a lot of work this year to transform the way we think about energy and our use back home, and to help to move international climate negotiations forward in an effective way. And I look forward to coming back this way next week during the leaders' summit that ends the conference.

Prime Minister Stoltenberg and I also discussed how we can work together and with other countries to protect forests--something that he has personally championed and I'm very impressed with the model that has been built between Norway and Brazil that allows for effective monitoring and ensures that we are making progress in avoiding deforestation of the Amazon. And we all understand that it's probably the most cost-effective way for us to address the issue of climate change--having an effective set of mechanisms in place to avoid further deforestation and hopefully to plant new trees.

This is all encouraging stuff--it shows that Obama is well abreast of climate issues, and appears to be taking the right tack in readying himself for the debates to come next week in Copenhagen.

The full text of Obama's Nobel speech is here.

More on Obama and COP15
Obama Elects to Come to Copenhagen's Conclusion, Not Beginning
Planet 100: Obama Says Yes to Copenhagen (11/25)
Lou Dobbs Outraged That Obama's Attending Copenhagen (Audio)

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