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WWF Statement on Senate Climate Bill

WASHINGTON, June 6, 2008 – The Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act (S. 3036) today failed to garner a 60 vote supermajority necessary to advance the legislation in the U.S. Senate. However, the 48-36 vote in favor of proceeding marked a significant shift in political support for addressing climate change, said Dr. Richard Moss, vice president of climate change at World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

Moss noted that six senators who missed the vote today, including the presumptive Democratic and Republican nominees for president, issued statements saying they would have voted yes had they been present, bringing to 54 the number of senators who supported advancing the bill. Moss issued the following statement following the vote:

“The Senate’s consideration of the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act this week marked a significant milestone in the effort to turn the tide on global climate change. Fifty-four senators, including Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.), publicly expressed their support for advancing the strongest climate change bill to ever come before Congress. And in a clear sign of the changing political climate in Washington, ten senators who opposed the previous climate bill in 2005 voted in favor of advancing Lieberman-Warner – a much stronger bill.

“While I applaud the advances we’ve seen, we need immediate concrete actions to reduce emissions. Time is not on our side. Last week, the administration released two reports examining current and future impacts of climate change. The reports indicated that we are already feeling the effects of climate change in every region of the country. And these will only worsen with each additional political cycle of inaction.

“As we delay, we further load our atmosphere with greenhouse gases and place ourselves in greater jeopardy. We cannot afford to sit on the sidelines. We must continue to refine our approach to combating climate change.

“During debate on Lieberman-Warner, WWF worked to build support among key senators for important provisions that will help us reduce climate change and prepare for its impacts by supporting a global treaty on climate change, funding international adaptation, combating tropical deforestation, and improving climate change science. WWF also gathered a coalition of 11 major corporations in support of cap and trade legislation, sending a powerful message that addressing climate change is completely consistent with robust economic growth.

“We are also focused on encouraging the U.S. to show leadership in the negotiation of a new international climate treaty that will start the global community on the path to avoiding catastrophic climatic change. In the near-term, we must reduce emissions in the U.S. through measures such as energy efficiency – which offers the greatest opportunity for immediate reductions while providing considerable savings to consumers – and developing renewable energy sources.

“We do not have time for further delay. We must seize every opportunity to ensure a cleaner, safer, more secure future.”

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Read more about our work on climate change: www.worldwildlife.org/climate.