Obama’s Sustainable Development challenges; how will he do it?
As January 20th approaches and Barack Obama prepares to be sworn in, the reality of the sustainiable development challenges will set in, and he will have to find a way to achieve the goals he set out for himself. As the US is in a recession, many believe that Obama will not be able to reach these lofty goals, so how is he going to achieve them?
One way, is to look at economic woes through sustainable development.
He has already pledged to spend US$ 150 billion over the next ten years on sustainable energy practices, such as wind power and solar power. This alone is estimated to create about 5 million jobs. It is also expected that he will aim for doubling the already existing alternative energy production by 2012, and to upgrade about 75% of existing government buildings to make them more 'energy friendly'. He also wants to look at improving energy efficiency in about 2 million homes across the country.
"In the process, we will put Americans to work in new jobs that pay well and can't be outsourced," he said, referring to sustainability efforts that "will lead to even more jobs, more savings and a cleaner, safer planet in the bargain," including the building of solar panels, wind turbines, fuel-efficient cars and buildings, and the development of low-carbon technologies.
He has asked Congress to speedily enact a stimulus package, which some analysts say could cost more than US$ 800 billion. He believes that without urgent action, America "could lose the competitive edge that has served as a foundation for our strength and standing in the world," along with facing a lingering recession and high unemployment.
“In this crisis, doing too little poses a greater threat than doing too much,” said Lawrence Summers, a member of Obama’s economic team and who will soon head the White House’s National Economic Council.
It seems as if other countries are starting to follow suit and realize the benefit of investing in their country's future now - even if it means more money up front, it will mean bigger savings for everyone in the long run; not to mention better for the environment as well.
Many critics think that Obama needs to step in and regulate the car companies better, as they are the ones that can really change the country's dependence on oil. If fuel-efficient cars are starting to be made now, then people can start to save now and practices can start to change.
Although this is a bad time for the economy for Americans, this is also an opportunity to implement new sustainablity programs and focus on the future as a long term goal; not as a short term oil fix.
Obama, as the next President of the most influencial nation on earth, needs to not only lead America, but it seems like he must lead the planet, as what this country does will set a standard for other countries around the world.