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Assessing President Obama's Climate Change Record


This essay assesses President Obama’s climate change record by looking at his success in translating policy goals into policy outputs (laws or regulatory action) during his time in office. It begins by using Obama’s campaign speeches to identify specific promises to take action on climate change, and then proceeds to examine whether, how, and with what success he managed to act upon these pledges. The essay shows that Obama set out a multi-pronged approach to dealing with climate change in his campaign speeches, and succeeded in translating many of his goals into policy outputs. The latter is a significant finding as the standard against which Obama is being judged is very high. The idea that an elected politician managed to fulfil many of the promises made on the campaign trail is worthy of note as the normal expectation is to find a gap between promises and performance. The finding also contributes to debates about Obama’s “green” credentials.

Acceptance Date Oct 28, 2017
Publication Date Jul 29, 2019
Journal Environmental Politics
Print ISSN 0964-4016
Publisher Routledge
Pages 847-865
Keywords United States, President Obama, climate change, environment
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