Obama May Establish Green Investment Bank, Climate Lobby Says

Anthony Hobley, president of the Climate Markets & Investors Association and head of climate change at law firm Norton Rose Fulbright LLP in London, comments on President Barack Obama’s plan to protect the climate, which is to be announced today. Hobley commented in an e-mailed statement.

On Obama’s options:

“The president would appear to be pulling every executive lever available to him in the absence of action by Congress. Plans to support renewables include streamlining consent procedures, creating demand and providing federally backed loan guarantees. One could speculate that there are the beginnings of a U.S. federal green investment bank in this package. Energy efficiency is also a key pillar of this plan.”

On adapting to climate change:

“A significant amount of this plan also deals with adaptation to climate change and particularly building resilience into cities and energy infrastructure and learning lessons from recent extreme weather events such as Hurricane Sandy. In many ways it could be seen as a call to arms by a president faced with a Congress split on the need for action.”

On international links, climate negotiations:

“Much more is said about working with other countries directly than is said about the international negotiations. And this is borne out by the evidence of U.S. international action on climate change in the last few years. We cannot forget that international law and particularly multilateral treaties have historically reflected what major powers do anyway rather than setting new standards for them to achieve.”

On any 2015 international climate agreement:

“Any comprehensive agreement reached in 2015 which the U.S. is politically able to back will very much reflect the domestic action which the U.S. is already taking and international action it has agreed to take in bilateral agreements with other countries. Therefore the ambition of any global treaty on climate change may likely be judged by how successful the president is in getting his own country to act and possibly encouraging a divided Congress into action.”

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