Even as House Republicans gear up to vote against a key piece of his climate-change agenda, President Obama sent a message to his critics from Paris: Look around.
At a press conference at the U.N. climate talks, Obama said that the sheer volume of world leaders at the event showed how seriously the rest of the world was tackling the problem. Centering on a theme of “leadership,” he said that America had a duty to act on the issue—and that the next president, regardless of party, would have to follow suit.
“Your credibility and America’s ability to influence events depends on taking seriously what other countries care about,” he said. “I think the next president of the United States is going to need to think this is really important.”
The Republican presidential candidates have roundly come out against climate-change action, threatening to undo emissions regulations immediately upon taking office. But the climate agenda also faces a more immediate threat.
House Republicans are set to vote Tuesday on a pair of resolutions to overturn carbon-emission rules on new and existing power plants, although the Senate-passed measures face a sure veto. Republicans have also been threatening to withhold U.S. contributions to the Green Climate Fund, a U.N. program to help developing countries that are facing danger from climate change.