Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Pelosi & Reid Call On Bush To Support Mandatory GHG Controls

Sep 24: In advance of a global warming conference this week, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid released a letter to President Bush today, calling on him to announce his support for mandatory national and international limits on the pollution that causes global warming. On September 27 and 28, President Bush has invited the European Union, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Japan, China, Canada, India, Brazil, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Australia, Indonesia, South Africa, and the United Nations to the Meeting of Economies on Energy Security. The meeting is part of the President's climate change initiatives announced last May in advance of the G-8 meeting on June 6-8, in Heiligendamm, Germany, [See WIMS 6/1/07].

Pelosi and Reid indicated in the letter, "Our legacy to the many generations that will follow us will depend upon how we handle the climate crisis and whether as a nation and as a world community we can take real action in time to avoid the worst effects of global warming. On Thursday and Friday, representatives of the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitting nations will meet in Washington at your invitation to discuss their roles in combating global warming. We call upon you to use this occasion to announce your support for mandatory national and international limits on the pollution that causes global warming."

The letter continues, "The world is coming to a crossroads. Most of the countries represented at the Major Emitters Meeting – as well as most countries that will not be present – are working under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol to reach agreement on legally-binding emission limits for industrialized countries and on measures to achieve greater emission reductions from emerging economies under a robust, expanded carbon market. Such a system can provide us with a fair chance of staving off catastrophic warming, while supporting sustainable development and adaptation for all countries.

"Your Administration has been pursuing an alternative approach based on purely aspirational targets and non-binding pledges of national action, as was evident at the recent summit of Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) countries. This voluntary approach, Mr. President, cannot succeed in staving off catastrophic climate change impacts... Finally, we ask for your commitment that the Washington meeting will not start a separate process competing with negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, to which the U.S. is a party, and which is the world’s recognized forum for hammering out the international response to global warming..."

On September 26, Chairman Edward Markey of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, along with 29 other House members also sent a letter to the President asking for more concrete global warming action on the eve of the major emitters meeting. The letter notes that the "overwhelming scientific evidence on the immediacy of global warming" means that the President's voluntary, "aspirational" goals for cutting emissions does not go far enough. The letter asks the President to join the U.S. Congress to "put in place mandatory domestic policies that will achieve real reductions in emissions" like a cap and trade system currently being discussed in Congress.

Access a joint release from Pelosi and Reid that includes the full-text of the letter (
click here). Access the White House invitation letter to the President's climate change meeting (click here). Access a release and link to the Markey, et al letter (click here). [*Climate]