Change will come as USA elects Barack Obama

The people have spoken. And they have clearly chosen Barack Obama as the next President of the United States of America. Hopefully the election outcome will result in USA moving away from its current destructive climate and environmental politics and policies. Hopefully well-needed change will come to USA, and the world.

People, leaders and organisations from around the world hurry to congratulate Obama and his running mate Biden while hoping that this will be a new "fresh" chapter in U.S. relations and politics.

The current French Presidency of the Council of Ministers of the European Union said in a statement that "the European Union is ready to work closely with Mr Barack Obama and his administration" to together combat "the challenges of the 21st century" in "a spirit of mutual trust and dialogue":

"Because the world aspires to peace and stability, the European Union sees in this election the promise of a reinforced transatlantic partnership, a partnership that serves the universally shared values that inspire the people of Europe and the United States, a partnership that will enable us to face together the challenges of the 21st century.

The European Union is ready to work closely with Mr Barack Obama and his administration and to make concrete proposals at the appropriate time, in a spirit of mutual trust and dialogue."

The President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, said that "we need to change the current crisis into a new opportunity. We need a new deal for a new world."

"This is a time for a renewed commitment between Europe and the United States of America.

I want to assure US President elect Obama of the support of the European Commission and of my personal support in forging this renewed commitment to face together the many challenges ahead of us.

We need to change the current crisis into a new opportunity. We need a new deal for a new world. I sincerely hope that with the leadership of President Obama, the United States of America will join forces with Europe to drive this new deal. For the benefit of our societies, for the benefit of the world."

In a statement John Passacantando, Greenpeace USA Executive Director, congratulated not just Obama but also "the American people for backing a candidate who stood up for real change in a time of deep economic trouble":

"We also congratulate the American people for backing a candidate who stood up for real change in a time of deep economic trouble. Among the most daunting issues America faces today is the crisis of global warming, and the American people backed the candidate who ran on a clear platform of taking the bold, science-based action needed to solve that crisis."

The Greenpeace's Making Waves blog congratulates Obama, but also wants to remind him about the promises he made during the election campaign:

"We're non-partisan here at Greenpeace. We don't have any permanent allies or enemies. We support policies, not politicians. We endorse deeds, not words. So even while a lot of us (in our personal capacity as human beings and not Greenpeace employees) are jumping up and down this morning with glee, we want to take a moment to remind you of the promises you made in your election campaign."

[…]

"When the oil company sharks and the coal industry crooks and the nuclear energy shisters begin to gather at your door, please remember what you promised us in this election. Please remember the reasons you gave us to hope."

Brent Blackwelder, President, Friends of the Earth Action, said that energy was a key issue in the election and that "Barack Obama and the new Congress can help the United States fulfill its potential to again be a world leader in the provision of clean energy":

"Our country is in a tough spot. Our outdated energy infrastructure and reliance on fossil fuels are damaging the economy, endangering our national security, and threatening the planet with an unprecedented environmental and human catastrophe in the form of climate disruption. But these challenges also provide an opportunity to move forward, as wind, solar, and efficiency projects can happen quickly. Barack Obama and the new Congress can help the United States fulfill its potential to again be a world leader in the provision of clean energy. It’s our job to hold their feet to the fire and ensure they do so."

Henrik Hasselknippe, the global head of carbon analysis for Point Carbon, a research company based in Norway, said that Obama will be a blessing for the clean energy businesses and that the international climate talks have "been on hold" and just waited "for a new U.S. administration to take office":

"You could say that international climate talks have been on hold for the past few years with everyone in reality just waiting for a new U.S. administration to take office," said Henrik Hasselknippe, the global head of carbon analysis for Point Carbon, a research company based in Oslo, Norway.

Mr. Hasselknippe said the victory for Mr. Obama was a boon for clean energy businesses because of an expectation that "it would be easier to get international negotiations going with a Democrat in the White House." He noted that Mr. Obama had proposed more ambitious cuts in greenhouse gas emissions for U.S. industry than John McCain, the Republican candidate who conceded defeat."

Kate Hampton, head of policy at Climate Change Capital, a British investment company with $1.6bn under management, welcomed the election outcome while saying that Bush "had held back the growth of green business":

"We cannot overstate how divisive the Bush administration was, how far behind the United States now is in the transition to the local carbon economy and how high expectations are now,” said Ms. Hampton. Mr. Obama “is a supporter of cap and trade and will push for more auctioning of carbon allowances, which is a good thing as it gives the US income to spend on other low carbon economy measures."

Ms. Hampton also said she hoped that Obama would recognize that a "transition to the new economy will create jobs and profit" and build an "approach which is consistent with what the governments of the UK and France have been saying."

Ricken Patel, from Avaaz.org, said in an email that "after 8 long years of Bush" there would finally be "a fresh start":

"Obama's victory brings a chance for the US to finally join with the world community to take on pressing challenges on climate change, human rights, and peace.

After years, even decades of distrust, let's seize this moment of unity, reconciliation and hope to send a message of warm congratulations and invitation to work together to the new President and the American people."

Green Blog recently endorsed Barack Obama and Joe Biden. Because when it comes to environmental, energy and climate issues, only Obama stood out as the strong and aggressive candidate with a detailed and comprehensive plan to tackle these problems. Now we need to put pressure on Obama and his administration so that the promises he have made will not be forgotten.


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Simon Leufstedt
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Guest Make your own windmill

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This happens everytime, when any country selects a new president. Everyone hopes for a change, and then things get only worse, or maybe just a little progress. Maybe in Obama's case it might be different.

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