The White House on Monday cited South Korea's commitment to cut greenhouse gas emissions as an example that shows international momentum is building on the cause, as President Barack Obama announced a deeper carbon emissions reduction pledge.
"We also saw significant commitment in just the last month or so from South Korea, and that's an indication that there is building momentum toward the climate talks in Paris," White House press secretary Josh Earnest said at a briefing, referring to a U.N. climate change conference set for late this year.
In late June, South Korea offered to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 37 percent by 2030 from 850.6 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalents, an amount Seoul says it would reach if it let business run as usual. The ambitious pledge underscores the country's commitment to play a leading role in the fight against climate change.
Earnest also said that many other countries have also been making carbon emissions reduction commitments, including China, Brazil, Mexico and India.
Earlier in the day, Obama announced what he calls the "Clean Power Plan" that calls for power plants to cut carbon emissions by 32 percent, compared to the levels in 2005. Power plants account for some 40 percent of U.S. emissions of carbon dioxide.
It also calls for meeting 28 percent of its power needs with renewable energy sources by 2030.
Obama sees the fight against climate change as one of his legacy projects, along with the just-concluded landmark deal on Ira's nuclear program and a massive Asia-Pacific free trade agreement, known as the Trans Pacific Partnership or TPP.
Republicans have denounced Obama's carbon emission cut push as detrimental to the economy. (Yonhap)