President Barack Obama has unveiled new solar energy plans, hailing the measures as a vital job-creating tool in the fight against climate change.
Obama, wrapping up a three-day fundraising tour of California, announced commitments to develop solar power and energy efficiency by more than 300 private and public sector groups.
“We know generating more clean energy using less dirty energy can be good for business and consumers,” Obama said.
“It’s also good for the world we leave for our children.”
Separate energy efficiency investments will lower utility bills for more than 93 million square metres of buildings, according to the White House.
Obama also unveiled new executive actions set to provide for an extra $US2 billion ($A2.2 billion) in energy efficiency investments, improved buildings and smarter appliances.
The executive actions will cut carbon pollution by more than 380 million metric tonnes – the equivalent of taking 80 million cars off the road for a year – provide $US26 billion in energy savings for businesses and support training programs for 50,000 people to enter the solar industry workforce by 2020.
Obama’s announcement follows a major White House report released on Tuesday that warned of the serious environmental damage human activities are already causing across the US.
“Climate change is real and we have to act now,” Obama said on Friday.
“It’s happening now and causing hardship now. It’s affecting every sector of our economy and our society, more severe floods and violent wildfires. It’s already costing states and cities money.
“Inside Washington we still have climate deniers who shout loud but they are wasting everybody’s time. Climate change is a fact.”