U.S. Groups Want Bush to Set Mandatory GHG Limits

A coalition of major environmental groups say that measures to ensure widespread deployment and use of renewable energies must be contained in any U.S. proposal to deal with the emission of greenhouse gases.

WASHINGTON, DC, US, 2001-06-11 [SolarAccess.com] A coalition of major environmental groups say that measures to ensure widespread deployment and use of renewable energies must be contained in any U.S. proposal to deal with the emission of greenhouse gases. “The U.S. will be called upon to come forward with proposals for addressing climate change” in a series of international meetings in the near future, the groups say in a letter to President George Bush. The meetings include the U.S.-European Summit, the G-8 Economic Summit, and the Conference of the Parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change. The signatories to the letter include Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth, World Wildlife Fund, Environmental Defense, Natural Resources Defense Council, Union of Concerned Scientists, U.S. Public Interest Research Group, Defenders of Wildlife and the National Environmental Trust. Bush is expected to announce a proposal on climate change policy in advance of meetings with with EU heads of state in Sweden, and the organizations say the policy must contain a number of “clear markers” for the proposal to be acceptable. Any proposal must have a nationwide cap, or series of sectoral caps, on GHG emissions at levels consistent with the Framework Convention and the Kyoto Protocol, and emissions caps that are binding, without “safety valve” schemes that allow companies to continue polluting at excessive levels. “Time is running out to deal effectively with global warming,” warns the letter. Recent studies by the Department of Energy and others demonstrate that the United States “can meet ambitious emissions reductions targets and continue strong economic growth,” and such policies will produce other important environmental and economic benefits as well, including sharply reduced air pollution and energy bill savings worth tens of billions of dollars per year. Bush recently asked the National Academy of Sciences for additional scientific analysis, and the group confirmed that the temperature of the earth is already rising “as a result of pollutants caused by human activity” and the letter says “global warming is a real and present danger to current and future generations.” “We urge you to meet this threat with a credible and effective climate policy,” it continues. “A policy that relies on voluntary measures will not meet these tests.” The hallmarks of an effective policy are measures to ensure widespread deployment and use of clean renewable energy sources, measures that clean up all four pollutants emitted by electric power plants, and measures to substantially increase corporate average fuel economy for automobiles, sport utility vehicles and other light trucks.

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