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WWF Statement on Introduction of Climate and Energy Legislation in US Senate

WASHINGTON, DC, September 30, 2009 – World Wildlife Fund issued the following statement today from Lou Leonard, WWF’s director of climate policy, following introduction of the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act by Senators John Kerry and Barbara Boxer:

“We commend Senators Kerry and Boxer for their leadership in starting the process for approval of a strong climate and energy bill in the Senate this year. The introduction of this important bill builds on the momentum created by House passage of the American Clean Energy Security Act in June. Senate passage this year of a comprehensive climate and energy bill is crucial to our economic recovery and our national security; it is also vital to ensuring American leadership towards a new global partnership to fight climate change this December in Copenhagen. 

“The urgency of climate legislation cannot be overstated. In every region of the US and every corner of the planet, we are seeing the impacts of climate change.  And they are coming sooner and hitting harder than scientists predicted just a few short years ago.  The longer we wait to solve this crisis, the more expensive it will be.  As President Obama said last week in New York ‘our prosperity, our health, our safety are in jeopardy.’

“In December, world governments will meet in Copenhagen to negotiate a global partnership to respond to this global crisis.  At that time, President Obama will need clear direction from the Senate.  Simply put, Senate passage this year will be critical to success in Copenhagen.

“The Bill demonstrates Kerry’s and Boxer’s attempt to reach a compromise that will win necessary Senate support.  Although we understand the political challenges, our climate does not.  We are encouraged by the improvement of the Bill’s 2020 emissions target over the version that passed the House, but this target remains too weak and compromised by too many offsets.  Reductions equivalent to at least 25% below 1990 levels by 2020 are needed to contribute to a global solution that has a chance to avoid the worst impacts of climate change on our farms, water supplies and communities. The Bill should be strengthened as it moves forward.    

“But it is imperative that we get started. This Bill is the latest chapter in a long, bipartisan conversation in the Senate about reducing dangerous carbon pollution, beginning with the introduction of the McCain-Lieberman bill in 2005 and continuing through full Senate consideration of Lieberman-Warner just last year.  We look forward to working with Senators Kerry, Boxer and all interested members to bring this long debate to a close. Time is running out; this Senate action comes not a moment too soon.”

ACT FOR OUR FUTURE
To learn more about WWF’s efforts to secure Senate passage of comprehensive climate change legislation this year, visit www.ActForOurFuture.org.