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Chart of the Week: Why We Can’t Wait to Act on Climate Change

Check out this week's chart to see the difference we can make if we work together to reduce emissions – and the disastrous consequences if we fail to act on climate change.

President Obama addressed 120 countries at the United Nations General Assembly today on a global challenge that concerns us all: Climate change.  

Climate change is a problem that knows no borders, causes devastating destruction in communities, and requires global action. Our climate will continue to change over this century, but the magnitude and significant consequences of that change depends on the amount of heat-trapping gases that countries emit. 

It will take all of us working together – governments, communities, businesses, and individuals -- to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and change the future of our climate. In fact, the choices we make right now will determine the extent of future global warming and its impact on the environment, public health, and the economy. 

Check out the chart to see the difference we can make if we work together to reduce emissions -- and the disastrous consequences if we fail to act: 

Combating climate change continues to be a top priority for President Obama. As he said in his second inaugural address, "We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that failure to do so would betray our children and future generations."

That is why the Obama Administration is working with the private-sector and countries across the globe to take action. Today, the President announced that the U.S. will release better, more comprehensive data to help developing countries measure the impact of climate change and build resilience to it. He is also directing America’s international development agencies to ensure climate resilience is a part of their research, planning, and investment decisions.

But it takes more than government action, it’ll take a partnership with the private sector and others to truly address the challenge of climate change. That is why the President plans to create a new public-private partnership to ensure that developing nations are better able to obtain and use climate resources.  And that is why U.S. companies recently committed to reduce emissions of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), powerful greenhouse gases that exacerbate climate change.

These actions fulfill key steps in President Obama’s Climate Action Plan -- a plan to cut carbon pollution, accelerate clean energy leadership, build 21st century clean energy infrastructure, cut energy waste, support climate resilience, and much more. To learn more about the progress our country has made in addressing climate change, check out