US officials on environment

CNC report from Washington
Added On July 26, 2013

U.S. officials testifying to Congress say a focus of President Obama's pivot to Asia is combating climate change.

U.S. government agency officials say the administration has embarked upon an aggressive campaign to assist NGOs and governments in the Asia-Pacific region.

The hearing is about protecting the environment and ensuring food and water safety in East Asia and the Pacific.

It was chaired by Senator Ben Cardin.

SOUNDBITE(ENGLISH): BEN CARDIN, US Senator of Maryland
"Some observers have criticized the rebalance to Asia policy for not focusing on the issue of food safety and the environment. However recent reports and statements by administration officials have underscored the view that helping the East Asia region address environment is essential for the preventing future conflicts, instability, and addressing our economic interests in the region."

Daniel Reifsynder from the U.S. Bureau of Oceans says they are helping some Asia countries to follow low emission strategies.

SOUNDBITE(ENGLISH): DANIEL REIFSYNDER, US Bureau of Oceans
"We're also assisting a number of countries in Asia to create and implement low emission strategies. Already lesser developed countries account for the majority of emissions and their emissions only increase without concerted action to decouple them from economic growth."

Officials rattled off a long list of ambitious environmental projects and strategies to combat climate change.

Senator Cardin also says that the Obama's Asia-Pacific policy is a key part of the U.S. global climate change strategy.