Image: with kind permission from Bart Nagel of Bart Nagel Photography.
The US president-elect said the new administration’s priorities were to end US dependence on foreign oil and fight climate change.
Naming his environment team, he said US energy dependence had grown even as global resources were disappearing. Obama has named physics Nobel Prize winner Steven Chu as his energy secretary and tasked him with finding alternatives to fossil fuels.
Mr Obama has pledged to make big changes in environmental policies. After eight years, he said, the US could not accept more broken promises when the new administration took over on 20 January.
Despite the current economic crisis, the president-elect has vowed to make the environment a priority with an ambitious promise of creating 2.5m new jobs.
The energy secretary-elect Steven Chu, is an energy specialist and the director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Dr Chu is a leader in the field of combating climate change using scientific methods. He shared the 1997 Nobel Prize for physics for his work on cooling and trapping atoms using laser light.
Announcing his environment team nominations, Mr Obama named Lisa Jackson, currently the chief of staff for New Jersey’s governor, as head of the environment protection agency (EPA).
“Unless we act, [climate change] will lead to drought and famine abroad, devastating weather patterns and terrible storms on our shores and the disappearance of our coastline,” said Mr Obama. He vowed to “move beyond our oil addiction and create a new hybrid economy”.