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Obama promises "new chapter" in climate leadership

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For Obama, "the science is beyond dispute and the facts are clear." The president-elect promised a federal cap-and-trade system that would mandate that greenhouse gas emissions be reduced to 1990 levels by 2020, and then reduced an additional 80 percent by 2050. The government, he said, would invest $15 billion annually "to catalyze private sector efforts to build a clean energy future," a future that includes solar power, wind power, safe nuclear energy, next-generation biofuels, and "clean coal," whatever that means.

These efforts, he said, would generate five million new green jobs.

Headed by California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, the bipartisan governors' summit brought together environmental officials and activists and oil executives from Europe, India, and China, along with a few governors of other US states, with a goal of drafting a pledge to work together to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.

Environmentalists welcomed Obama's commitment, which is only the second-major policy announcement made by the president-elect (the other, revealed in a press conference and a 60 Minutes interview, was fixing the economy.)

Obama's official transition website, Change.gov, displays statements from the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, the National Wildlife Federation, and the World Wildlife Fund, all praising the address:

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