Following the hottest six months on record, President Obama just announced his plan to cool things down, at least in the US.
His Clean Power Plan calls on the EPA to set standards limiting carbon emissions from US power plants. These standards will look different in each state — progressive clean energy areas like Maine and Vermont won't have as much cleaning up to do as more coal-reliant states like Kentucky and West Virginia.
"This plan reflects the fact that not everybody will be starting from the same place," Obama said in a press conference Monday. "We're giving states the time and flexibility they need to cut pollution in a way that works for them."
Don't expect to notice any changes overnight. The plan sets aside 15 years to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 32%. It will take some major innovation to achieve this ambitious target, which is the equivalent of taking 166 million cars off the road.
In response to the argument that carbon regulation will hurt the economy, the EPA says that while the plan will cost $8.4 billion upfront, its long-term benefits could exceed $54 billion. People living in the states that are quick to invest in renewables are more likely to notice a drop in their energy bills right away.
The plan is already being called the strongest stance that any US president has taken on climate change. But, as Obama reminded us all today, a huge problem requires an equally huge solution.
"I am convinced that no challenge poses a greater threat to our future than a changing climate," he said.
Screengrab via The White House/YouTube