President Obama said the country has an obligation to future generations to address the issue of climate change, but he acknowledged there is a palpable lack of consensus on the matter.

"I don't know what either Democrats or Republicans are prepared to do at this point," Obama said at his afternoon press conference.

The president noted that the political differences that arise on environmental issues extend beyond those falling along party lines. "There are regional differences," he said.

But, he added: "we have an obligation to future generations to do something about it."