World leaders congratulated Barack Obama on his presidential win, and indicated that his environmental policies look to be a welcome change from the past eight years.

Rajendra Pachauri, Chair, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change: “Obama has not only been very clear in emphasizing the need for the U.S. to engage in global solutions to meet the challenge of climate change but also in respect of bringing about a major shift in U.S. energy policy … The U.S. now has a unique opportunity to assume leadership in meeting the threat of climate change, and it would help greatly if the new president were to announce a coherent and forward-looking policy soon after he takes office. There is every reason to believe that President Obama will actually do so.”

Lawrence Cannon, Foreign Affairs Minister, Canada: “This augurs well for a North American approach on environmental issues — specifically on climate change.”

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Jan Peter Balkenende, Prime Minister, Netherlands: “It was great to see that this election touched so many people in the U.S. but also elsewhere … But I am also thinking about combating terrorism, about climate change, human rights and free world trade … Only with an intensive, transatlantic alliance can we stand up to worldwide challenges.”

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Hans-Gert Poettering, President, European Parliament: “[I look forward to] working together in effective partnership [with Obama] on many of the global issues facing decisionmakers in our both continents, for example climate change.”

Jose Manuel Barroso, President, European Commission: “This is a turning point for the United States. It may also be a turning point for the world. We hope to achieve together an ambitious agenda for globalization: overcoming the financial crisis promoting growth and opportunity for all and fighting climate change … We need a ‘New Deal’ between the U.S. and the E.U. A ‘New Deal’ that covers financial stability, the fight against climate change, global prosperity, including open trade. I sincerely hope that under the leadership of President Obama, the USA will join forces with Europe to drive this new deal, for the benefit of our societies, for the benefit of the world.”

Taro Aso, Prime Minister, Japan: “As the world faces many difficult issues, I am sure that the United States, under the excellent leadership of President-elect Obama, will move further forward while cooperating with the international community. With President-elect Obama, I will strengthen the Japan-U.S. alliance further and work towards resolving global issues such as the world economy, terror, and the environment.”

Javier Solana, High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, European Union: “President-elect Obama ran on a ticket of change. This is most welcome since many things in the world today need changing. Let us do that together. [The E.U. and U.S. need to address] a high number of very complex global problems: from the Middle East to Iran and Afghanistan and Pakistan, from climate change to nonproliferation … with determination and creativity … As we grapple with these problems, it is good to have someone who put change, empathy, and good judgment at the heart of his campaign. I am looking forward to working with President Obama and his administration.”

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