(Another email i recieved yesterday)
Opposing Views on Climate Action:
"We can lift ourselves out of this economic crisis through investing in clean energy solutions that solve global warming" — From "Transition to Green," a set of recommendations for President-elect Obama issued jointly by EDF and 28 other leading environmental groups.
"This [economic] crisis puts the nail in the coffin for climate change." — Bill Kovacs, U.S. Chamber of Commerce's vice president for environmental and regulatory affairs.
What do you think? Share your views in the Green Room.
December 4, 2008
Two weeks ago, President-elect Obama kick-started the 2009 climate debate by calling for a comprehensive approach to fight global warming and transform the nation's economy.
This was an inspiring and historic statement—and our climate team is moving aggressively on several fronts to build on this momentum for global warming action.
Here is a summary of some of our recent efforts:
The EPA Front
Yesterday, we joined a coalition of 11 of America's largest businesses to outline how the Environmental Protection Agency might proceed with regulating global warming pollution.
This is the latest move in our multi-year effort to pressure EPA to use its authority to help fight global warming.
Thanks to more than 31,000 EDF activists who last month submitted comments urging EPA action, it now appears that it's no longer a matter of whether the EPA will regulate global warming pollution, but of when and how.
Yesterday's joint statement is important because it demonstrates a willingness by some in the business community to work with the EPA on these regulations.
The Capitol Hill Front
We've been active with Congressional leaders to set the stage for moving climate legislation early when the new Congress convenes in January.
The laws of science and politics give us 12 short months to save the planet from catastrophic global warming by moving strong legislation through both houses of Congress.
That's because 2010 is a mid-term election year, which will make it even more difficult for members of Congress in competitive races to take a tough vote on global warming.
We are also reaching out to newly elected House members to enlist their support and to show the House leadership that the incoming freshmen are ready and willing to act.
The International Front
Several EDF staff are in Poland for this week's international climate talks. Most expect this round of negotiations to serve mainly as a warm up for next year's climate negotiations in Copenhagen, Denmark.
We were thrilled, however, earlier this week when Brazil set an ambitious target of reducing its deforestation rate by 70% over the next ten years.
Brazil is the world's fourth largest emitter of global warming pollution. About 80% of Brazil's global warming emissions come from deforestation.
Brazil's announcement is a significant move demonstrating that developing countries are ready to support a strong international climate agreement next year.
Working with Obama
Our top priority remains passing national legislation to cap and reduce America's global warming pollution.
To this end, we've been reaching out to the Obama transition team to outline several key steps they can take to keep the pressure on for Congressional action.
Here are four things President Obama can do unilaterally before the first cherry blossom blooms on the Tidal Basin next year:
Continue to Set the Agenda: President Obama should keep up the momentum for driving climate action by articulating a clear vision of what he seeks to accomplish, and how he sees a comprehensive approach working.
Let California Rule: California has already passed a stringent climate emissions law governing cars, which has been copied in 16 other states. The Bush EPA has so far blocked that law. An Obama EPA can reverse course, letting 17 states apply the California standards almost immediately.
Issue the Endangerment Ruling: Obama's EPA should move aggressively to assert that global warming is a risk to human health and that it can and should be regulated under the Clean Air Act. An Obama endangerment ruling will put Congress on notice that it if it fails to act, the Obama Administration will be prepared to act unilaterally.
Choose a Great Team: Obama's appointees need to be smart, serious, credible people who understand the game. Especially important will be Obama's picks to lead EPA and also the person who directs an obscure but powerful agency called the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, which reviews all regulatory rule changes.
We've never had a better opportunity to pass historic legislation to cap and reduce global warming pollution.
The support of the incoming president is important, but it will take everything we've got to win majority support in both houses of Congress and get a bill passed.
We're in the fight of our lives, and we'll need your continued support.
Thanks for being an important part of this historic fight!
Director, Online Membership and Activism