Dear Barack Obama,
As I write this, you’re taking a well-deserved break after serving two terms and eight years in office.
But, POTUS 44, do not get too comfortable, because the hard work is only just beginning.
The fact is that our fragile planet, the US, and the world needs you more than ever before.
At the moment, the Trump Administration is doing everything in its power to destroy your environmental and your climate change legacy. But we must not let them. We need you to continue to lead the fight to protect your groundbreaking and hugely important climate-change laws.
Some people have been critical about how ambitious you have been in tackling climate change. But, Mr President, there is no doubt about it. You have been instrumental. If you had gone any further it might very well have backfired, and you could have ended up risking it all. You were well aware of that, and you have masterminded the right balance.
There is no doubt in my mind that you set the pathway towards the Paris Agreement. It was only as China came on board that we managed to achieve a global climate treaty. And China only came on board because of the US-China climate deal, a deal that was masterminded by you and your team.
Furthermore, you have accomplished what no other world leader has yet done when it comes to climate change. You had understood that it was not enough to mention it in connection with big climate talks or other events; you had to communicate week in week out, regardless of what happened in the world. You did that.
You are clearly qualified on this issue. I will argue that no other world leader is as clued up on the science of climate change, and on the tricky challenges involved. We need to decarbonise our energy-reliant economies, and we need to find the right energy mix, and we need to ensure that the poorest people are not paying the highest price.
This is why I plead with you to continue your excellent work in tackling the biggest issue in our lifetime. We need climate change to be the core of what you and Michelle decide to do with the Obama Foundation.
One of the paramount things during your presidency was to insert climate change into absolutely every policy area. I would like you to continue that effort as you look to continue your career.
Fellow Citizen and Guardian of the Earth
Founding Editor, A greener life, a greener world.