President Barack Obama met with Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, and his wife, Camilla Parker Bowles, the duchess of Cornwall, the week of March 16 and atop their list of discussion topics was climate change.
None of the meeting participants would comment to the press about their Oval Office discussions, but White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said “the conversation is actually going to focus on some of the key areas that I mentioned, including combating climate” ahead of the royal visit to Washington.
Prince Charles has become an outspoken advocate for global action on climate change and warned earlier this year that the problem was a “challenge of astonishing complexity.” Despite that, the Prince of Wales expressed optimism the nations of the world would come together toward a global agreement to address climate change December in Paris.
The Planet’s Death Certificate?
“If, and it is a big if, we can muster agreement there, we can only pray that our sick planetary patient might be placed on a road to recovery,” Prince Charles said during a January speech. “Failure to write the prescription, however, might leave us contemplating the death certificate instead.”
His words come as Obama has ramped up his rhetoric about the need for action on climate change and his criticism of those who deny the problem. The president signed an executive order March 19 calling for the federal government to slash its greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent from 2008 levels in the next ten years and vowed to maintain forward momentum on the issue.
“We’re proving that it is possible to grow our economy robustly while at the same time doing the right thing for our environment and tackling climate change in a serious way,” Obama said at remarks on the executive order.
Tide May Be Turning, Obama Says.
The president has—and continues—to face opposition from many in Congress on his administration’s actions on climate change. But, Obama appears to feel the tide may be turning, telling Vice News “I guarantee that the Republican Party will have to change its approach to climate change because voters will insist upon it.”
Whether the president’s prediction comes true may, in part, depend on how strong of an agreement comes out of Paris in December—if one does. Until then, Obama appears poised to maintain public focus on the issue.
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