Greenpeace statement on pending climate bill

Media release - April 23, 2010
Greenpeace has highlighted crucial elements of the draft climate bill necessary to address the catastrophic effects of global warming pollution. Senator Kerry, in a teleconference Thursday, organized by the We Can Lead coalition, outlined specific details from the draft Climate Bill expected to be released Monday that had not previously been publicly available.

In response Greenpeace Executive Director Phil Radford issued the following statement:

"Although we appreciate the Senate's efforts to reduce global warming pollution, it's clear that polluter lobbyists have succeeded in hijacking this climate policy initiative and undermined the ambitious action necessary.

We cannot support this bill unless the following elements change:

Inadequate Emissions Targets: The Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has shown that to avoid the worst impacts of global warming, the United States and other developed nations must achieve emissions cuts of 25-40 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 and 80-95 percent by 2050. But this legislation only sets the goal of reducing emissions by some 4 percent below 1990 levels by 2020.  Rapid reductions in the short-term are critical to avoiding catastrophic impacts from global warming.  With this weak start, it is clear that achieving the needed reductions would be impossible

Eviscerating the Clean Air Act: The bill is expected to strip the authority that the Environmental Protection Agency has to regulate emissions under the Clean Air Act and the states' authority to set tougher emissions standards than the federal government.

Money for Dirty technology: The bill is expected to include financial incentives for, among other things, nuclear power, offshore oil and gas drilling, and coal fired energy.  This includes billions for "clean coal" technology development, as well as free permits for heavy emitters like manufacturers, oil refiners, and merchant coal generators.

We call on the President to push leaders in Congress to get back to work and produce a climate bill, that presents a clear road map for significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions, transforms our economy with clean, renewable energy technology, generates new green jobs and shows real leadership internationally.  None of this is accomplished by giving billions of dollars to the coal and petroleum industries."

Other contacts: Susan Cavanagh, Greenpeace Media Director, +1 202 615 8321, , www.greenpeace.org