In reaction to Tuesday’s election results, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) issued the following statement from Lou Leonard, head of WWF’s climate change program:
“WWF congratulates President Obama on his re-election and looks forward to working with him and his administration over the next four years to tackle the greatest threats to our planet, and the people and other creatures that call it home.
“In the final days of the campaign, the devastation of Superstorm Sandy focused the nation’s attention on the real world risks of the looming climate crisis. As the nation recovers from Sandy, the historic drought in the midwest and other climate-related disasters from 2012, a clear national conversation has finally begun about the need to take action.
“The time is ripe for President Obama to join this conversation with a strong voice and to bring the country together around a compelling vision for prosperity amid a changing climate.
“An agenda focused on common-sense solutions to prepare for present and future climate impacts, while transitioning our economy to clean, renewable energy will command support across the political spectrum. At the same time, President Obama now has the political space to put international efforts to secure a global climate treaty back on the right track.
“President Obama has the real opportunity to put protecting our environment back on the front burner as a bi-partisan issue. Protecting ecosystems and the natural resources on which all life depends is an economic, social, and ecological imperative for our country.”
WWF’s initial top asks for President Obama:
- Bring the Country Together Around a Common Plan: Convene a high level summit within the first 100 days to bring together city leaders, businesses, civil society, Republicans and Democrats to build support for a clear U.S. plan to prepare for climate change.
- Use Presidential Power to Take Action Now: Elevate climate change to a top tier issue within the administration and proactively use this pulpit and existing authority, including regulating greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants under the Clean Air Act.
- Show International Leadership: Constructively negotiate for a climate change treaty by 2015, and announce and increase funding for a renewed Global Climate Change Initiative so the U.S. supports the global effort to prepare for climate change.
- Advance New Solutions in Congress: Ensure that responding to climate change is a guiding force in upcoming budget negotiations (by removing fossil fuel subsidies and pricing carbon pollution while protecting clean energy incentives and international foreign assistance) and champion new legislation to sharply increase U.S. clean energy.