Obama: Private sector is key to tackling climate change

By Colleen Barry, Associated Press

Former U.S. President Barack Obama said Tuesday that he is "confident that the United States will continue to move in the right direction" on climate change despite his successor's pledges to undo many of his policies.

United States former President Barack Obama talks during the "Seeds&Chips - Global Food Innovation" summit, in Milan, Tuesday, May 9, 2017. Obama is in Milan to deliver a keynote speech on food security and the environment, two issues that he has long worked on. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

MILAN (AP) — Former U.S. President Barack Obama said Tuesday that he is "confident that the United States will continue to move in the right direction" on climate change despite his successor's pledges to undo many of his policies.

On his first foreign foray since leaving the presidency, Obama told an audience at a conference on food innovation in Italy that businesses in the United States are already committed to clean energy because it is cost-saving, which would help counteract moves by the Trump administration.

While campaigning for president, Trump pledged to "cancel" the Paris Agreement, the first international deal to curb greenhouse gas emissions from both rich and poor countries. Obama enthusiastically supported the agreement, which was adopted by the United States and more than 190 other countries in 2015.

"The good news is, in part because of what we did over the last eight years, the private sector has already made a determination that the future is in clean energy. Investments are moving into clean energy," Obama said.

"It may be that some of the steps we put in place may move more slowly than they otherwise would have. But I'm confident that the United States will continue to move in the right direction."

He said for example California's strict fuel efficiency standards for passenger cars would undermine the Trump administration moves to roll back on Obama's own "aggressive standards."

"So even if the rules change in Washington, there is not a U.S. automaker that can afford to produce a car that is not fuel efficient enough to be sold in California," the single largest U.S. market, Obama said.

Obama arrived in Milan on Monday, greeted by former Premier Matteo Renzi, a political ally who is mounting a comeback after resigning when his referendum on constitutional reforms failed.

Renzi welcomed Obama in a Facebook post, calling him "a friend and great leader ... who still has much to say and give to world politics."

Obama made a few tourist stops in Italy's fashion and finance capital before attending a dinner hosted by an Italian think tank attended by friends and business leaders. Before heading to the food innovation summit Tuesday, he went to see Leonardo da Vinci's "Last Supper," accompanied by Italy's culture minister.

"So even in our religion and in our art, food is important," he said.

Did You Like this Article? Get All the Energy Industry News Delivered to Your Inbox

Subscribe to an email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest news and information.

 Subscribe Now

Whitepapers

The Time is Right for Optimum Reliability: Capital-Intensive Industries and Asset Performance Management

Imagine a plant that is no longer at risk of a random shutdown. Imagine not worrying about losing...

Going Digital: The New Normal in Oil & Gas

In this whitepaper you will learn how Keystone Engineering, ONGC, and Saipem are using software t...

Maximizing Operational Excellence

In a recent survey conducted by PennEnergy Research, 70% of surveyed energy industry professional...

Leveraging the Power of Information in the Energy Industry

Information Governance is about more than compliance. It’s about using your information to drive ...

Latest PennEnergy Jobs

PennEnergy Oil & Gas Jobs