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Last updated at 14:44 BST, Monday, 02 June 2014

Obama to announce new pollution targets for power plants

Summary

2 June 2014

The US government is due to give details about its plan to cut carbon emissions from fossil fuel power stations. This will be one of the most significant actions to try to reduce global warming in US history.

Reporter:
Beth McLeod

Coal

Can controlling the use of this fossil fuel reduce global warming?

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Report

The United States produces more greenhouse gases than any country in the world, apart from China. The plan to curb emissions from fossil-fuelled power plants is the most ambitious measure proposed by President Obama in his efforts to tackle climate change.

The details of the plan will be laid out by the Environmental Protection Agency. It will give broad flexibility to states to decide how to meet carbon reduction targets, whether by closing coal-fired power stations and switching to cleaner sources of energy, or by creating cap-and-trade schemes.

Some US media are reporting that by 2030 the government wants a 30% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. Business groups and Republicans fiercely oppose the new regulations, and say they're likely to drive up electricity prices. But for the president the measure is important for his environmental legacy and in order to show global leadership on climate change.

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Vocabulary

curb

control, cut or limit (something harmful)

fossil-fuelled

using coal or oil

power plants

power stations; places where electricity is made

ambitious

challenging, difficult and needing a lot of effort

tackle

deal with

targets

(here) levels or aims

fiercely oppose

strongly disagree with

drive up

cause an increase

legacy

achievement that will be remembered in the future

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