White Paper Signals Forward Movement on House Global Warming Bill

Statement by Jeremy Symons, Executive Director of National Wildlife Federation's Global Warming Campaign

01-31-2008 // NWF Media Team

WASHINGTON, DC -- "National Wildlife Federation is encouraged that the House Energy and Commerce Committee's White Paper on engaging developing nations is solutions-oriented within the framework of U.S. leadership with a domestic cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We need swift action in the House this year to pass a strong cap-and-trade bill that cuts global warming pollution at the level scientists say is needed. This paper tackles an issue that has held up progress in the past, and shows that there are measured ways to now move forward.

"However, we are concerned that it overlooks a vital means of engaging developing nations in the global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and we look forward to the omission being addressed in the Committee's upcoming paper on the auction and allocation of emission allowances. Specifically, the United States should use a portion of auction revenues from the sale of emission allowances to help vulnerable populations in the poorest nations adapt to climate impacts, to boost support for climate-friendly technology in developing countries, and to reduce emissions from deforestation. It became clear at the recent negotiations in Bali that developing nations are willing to do more to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, but they require financial assistance. As part of his State of the Union initiatives, President Bush has called for a new $2 billion fund for clean energy assistance for developing nations. A domestic cap-and-trade program should provide more extensive financial resources to the poorest nations to fulfill our existing treaty responsibilities. Rich or poor, when it comes to global warming we are all in this together."

National Wildlife Federation endorses the position on engaging developing nations that is expressed in the Call for Action of the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, of which we are a member (www.us-cap.org). As stated in the Call for Action:

"The effects of climate change are global, as are the sources of GHG emissions. Success will require commitments by all of the major emitting countries. Toward this end, the U.S. government should become more involved in developing the post-2012 international arrangements for addressing climate change that are now being discussed. While care should be taken that policies do not merely push emissions from U.S. facilities to overseas plants, ultimately there must be an international program for addressing climate change and its impacts. U.S. action to implement mandatory measures and incentives for reducing emissions should not be contingent on simultaneous action by other countries. Rather, we believe that U.S. leadership is essential for establishing an equitable and effective international policy framework for robust action by all major emitting countries."

"While taking the necessary first step of placing limits on our own emissions, Congress should strongly urge the Administration to safeguard U.S. interests by engaging in international negotiations with the aim of establishing commitments by all major emitting countries. The post-2012 global framework should establish international greenhouse gas markets, assist vulnerable populations in adapting to climate impacts, and boost support for climate-friendly technology in developing countries."

The National Wildlife Federation is America's conservation organization inspiring Americans to protect wildlife for our children's future.

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