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Today, as we celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, we are mindful of the profound responsibility we bear to future generations to leave them a healthy planet, and of the need for effective international cooperation to confront the urgent challenge of climate change.
As President Obama said in Copenhagen, “There is no time to waste.” The world’s climate is warming by the day. In Silent Spring, the historic book credited with spurring environmental activism, Rachel Carson wrote, “Seldom if ever does Nature operate in closed and separate compartments.” Indeed, climate change is one of the many security challenges we face in the 21st century that pays no heed to borders. Both its causes and its consequences are transnational in nature.
The Obama Administration is leading by example. We have taken action at home to invest in renewable energy and to promote a clean energy economy. We are committed to helping the most vulnerable countries adapt to climate change. And we are engaging vigorously in international climate negotiations sponsored by the United Nations, as well as in other multilateral settings.
In Copenhagen, President Obama challenged world leaders to “act boldly and decisively in the face of a common threat.” As we mark this historic Earth Day, we move forward to meet his challenge – and to do the critical work of protecting our planet.
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