In his speech, Obama said he would double the production of alternative energy in the next three years. He added that his administration would focus on efficiency as a way to reduce energy demand, by modernising more than 75 percent of federal buildings and improving the energy efficiency of 2 million American homes.
It was the most Obama had said on climate change for some time, and it was a stronger affirmation of the science underlying climate change than Obama has offered on other occasions: "Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires and crippling drought and more powerful storms," Obama said.
On renewable energy, Obama spoke with an almost religous zeal: "The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult. But America cannot resist this transition; we must lead it. We cannot cede to other nations the technology that will power new jobs and new industries - we must claim its promise. That is how we will maintain our economic vitality and our national treasure - our forests and waterways; our croplands and snowcapped peaks".
Not surprisingly, the speech has been widely heralded by clean energy groups: The Sierra Club commended Obama “for his vision of an economic recovery plan that recognises the vital role of clean energy.”
The American Wind Energy Association and the Solar Energy Industries Association issued a joint statement saying the two organizations “applaud President-elect Obama’s aggressive goal of doubling the production of alternative energy in the next three years.”