US climate change plan shows "visionary leadership"

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Sustainable energy. Photo: World Bank/Dana Smillie

A plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions from US power stations by nearly a third within 15 years has been described as "visionary" by the UN Secretary-General.

The United States relies heavily on power generated from coal, which leads to significant amounts of harmful emissions.

The Clean Power Plan, unveiled by US President Barack Obama on Monday, emphasizes renewable energy sources, especially wind and solar power.

Daniel Dickinson reports.

Unveiling the plan, President Obama said it was “the most important step" the US had ever taken to tackle climate change.

If implemented, it will cut carbon emissions from the power sector by 32 per cent by 2030, compared with 2005 levels.

Here's the UN Spokesperson, Stéphane Dujarric

"The Plan is an example of the visionary leadership necessary to reduce emissions and to tackle climate change. The Secretary-General appreciates President Obama’s strong, personal leadership on climate change. And President Obama’s leadership by example is essential for bringing other key countries on board and securing a universal, durable and meaningful agreement in Paris in December."

The Paris meeting will aim to agree a binding deal which will limit global temperature rises to below two degrees Celsius.

In July, the UN's World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said the first six months of 2015 were the hottest on record, both on land and in oceans.

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations

Duration: 1’09″

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