The president outlined a series of initiatives on climate issues, including a Centers for Disease Control report on the health hazards of climate change, a $236 million investment on rural energy infrastructure from the Department of Agriculture and a call from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for state responses to climate variability.
Frances Beinecke, president of the NRDC, said the president's message shows the fight against climate change extends beyond pollution abatement efforts.
"Climate change is here and now," she said in a statement. "We are running out of time, but not out of solutions."
Obama, for his part, said climate change isn't just a U.S. problem, but one that has impacts across the globe.