U.S. President Barack Obama said progress is being made among nations at the climate summit held in Paris, where he assured foreign allies that not only will the U.S. be a leader in curbing carbon emissions, but also its commitments will not be reversed by GOP opposition. Mostly because he expects the next U.S. president to be a Democrat who will continue his energy policies.
On Dec. 1, Obama said that addressing climate change is crucial to securing economic stability and combating terrorism because it is a trend that “affects all trends,” according to The New York Times.
“Climate change is a massive problem,” Obama said. “It’s a generational problem. It’s a problem that by definition is just about the hardest thing for any political system to absorb … [yet] I actually think we’re going to solve this problem.”
Obama’s efforts at the Paris summit have been met with fierce opposition from Republican lawmakers, some of whom have said that any deals the president makes will be reversed by a future GOP presidency.
“The president’s international negotiating partners at that conference should proceed with caution before entering into an unattainable deal with this administration, because commitments the president makes there would rest on a house of cards of his own making,” Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Senate Majority Leader, wrote in The Washington Post on Nov. 27.
However, Obama does not seem worried that whatever energy deals he makes during the Paris summit will be scrapped after his term ends in January 2017.
“Just with respect to my successor, let me first of all say that I’m anticipating a Democrat succeeding me,” Obama said, according to Politico. “I’m confident in the wisdom of the American people on that front.”
He added that even if a GOP candidate wins the White House in 2016, “one of the things you find is when you’re in this job, you think about it differently than when you’re just running for the job.”
"So whoever is the next president of the United States, if they come in and they suggest somehow that that global consensus, not just 99.5 percent of scientists and experts but 99 percent of world leaders think this is really important, I think the president of the United States is going to need to think this is really important,” Obama continued. “And that’s why it’s important for us to not project what’s being said on a campaign trail but to do what’s right and to make that case.”
Obama has also suggested that a “legally binding” mechanism be attached to any agreements between nations, to ensure that all countries are held accountable in cutting down carbon emissions, CNN reports.