Tonight, President Obama will deliver the State of the Union to a joint session of Congress, touting his achievement over the past year and laying out an agenda for the remainder of his presidency. Among the issues that have taken a larger prominence in his second term is tackling climate change, which has seen proposals to rein in carbon emissions from power plants in the United States, an ambitious bilateral agreement with the Chinese, and increasing investment in renewable energy.  

Obama’s years in office have also seen a bruising political fight over the Keystone XL pipeline, the approval of which is the subject of a Senate debate this week. The implications of the pipeline within the larger context fight to contain climate change is the subject of my column for The Week, as well as an important part of my discussion with analyst Tim Kovach for Bloggingheads.

While the political activism that has been built up around Keystone has been impressive, it should not lose sight of the larger fights ahead: defending the EPA Clean Power Plan, accelerating a shift away from using coal, and ensuring clean energy access in the developing world are the issues that will ultimately determine whether we can avoid the worst effects of climate change.