Obama, Gore discuss climate, energy

December 10th, 2008 - 11:08 am ICT by IANS  

Barack ObamaWashington, Dec 10 (DPA) US president-elect Barack Obama said delaying action on climate change was no longer an option, after a meeting Tuesday with former vice president and Democratic Party bigwig Al Gore.Obama welcomed Gore for a private meeting in his hometown of Chicago, Obama’s base of operations as he prepares to take office Jan 20. His transition team rejected speculation that Gore could be offered a position in the new administration.

Gore, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 for his efforts to raise awareness of climate change, has pushed for more domestic action on reducing greenhouse-gas emissions blamed for global warming.

Obama has promised a sharp departure from a skeptical President George W. Bush, pledging an aggressive effort to cut emissions in the US - including forcing dirty companies to pay for pollution permits - and re-engaging in international climate talks.

“The time for delay is over. The time for denial is over,” Obama said, flanked by Gore and vice-president elect Joe Biden after the meeting.

Government delegations are gathering in Poland this week to discuss progress towards a new global climate treaty. Obama did not send his own representative, but Democratic Party legislators were expected to carry his message to government leaders.

Obama has also made investments in clean energy a cornerstone of his economic recovery plan as he tries to pull the US out of a year-long recession.

“It’s not only a problem but also an opportunity,” Obama said. Investing in alternative energy will “make our economy stronger, make us more safe … even as we’re saving the planet”.

Gore has said he would rather remain an outside advocate for global warming rather than join Obama’s team. The president-elect has yet to name the heads of the US energy and interior departments.

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