Monday, July 28, 2008

Obama on Climate Change: US Needs to Set Example

Pointing out that an effective foreign policy requires building a consensus, the Democratic presidential nominee, Barack Obama, has said that a country like India will not look at the issue of climate change seriously unless the wealthy nations like the US are also looking at the matter similarly. "An effective US foreign policy will be based on our ability not only to project power, but also to listen and to build consensus," Obama, currently on a high-profile tour of West Asia and Europe, said. "The goal of an Obama administration in foreign policy would be obviously to act on behalf of the interests and the security of the United States, but also to listen carefully enough to our allies that we understand their interests, as well, and we try to find ways that we can work together to meet common goals," he said. Obama was asked about the topic of climate change during a press interaction with the President of France, generally making the point that it is not enough to look at foreign policy issues only through the lens of the security of the US. "The United States is a very powerful country. But, as I said before, an issue like climate change is not one we can solve by ourselves. It's going to require an international effort," he added. "Not only are we going to have to look at what countries like France and Germany are already doing and making some very difficult choices to deal with their carbon emissions and to make energy more efficient, but we're also going to have to talk to countries like China and India," Obama said, adding "and it's going to be very hard for us to ask them to take seriously these issues if they see that wealthy nations are not taking them seriously." "And that's an example of where we have to present a common front and a common agenda in order to get all the countries in the nation -- all the countries in the world involved in what is going to be an enormous undertaking," the Illinois Democrat said. "My goal is just to make sure that, whether it's our European allies, whether it's Muslim countries, whether it's our friends in Asia, that people feel as if the United States is taking their interests, their concerns into account, and that we are interested in the prosperity and peace of ordinary people, and not just seeing our foreign policy only through the lens of our own security," he added. (Agencies/ ExpressIndia/ Photo: Reuters/ YahooNews )