MEDIA ADVISORY – U.S. – EU Summit Offers Chance for Obama to Show Climate Leadership
With the US climate legislation stalled and the Americans lagging behind the international community’s response to climate change, the US-EU summit here today offers one of the last opportunities for President Obama to take decisive leadership and help ensure a fair, ambitious, and legally binding treaty with just four negotiating days left until the UN climate talks in Copenhagen this December.
"President Obama must recognize that Congress will not deliver climate legislation capable of satisfying the demands of science and the expectations of the international community in time for Copenhagen. It is clear that principled and active engagement from the White House is required to achieve a planet-saving deal in December," said Damon Moglen, Greenpeace USA's global warming campaign director.
President Obama hosts the European leaders less than a week after the EU offered to commit to 30 percent greenhouse gas emissions reductions compared to 1990 levels at Copenhagen. The EU position stands in stark contrast to that of the US, whose best offer is the 4 percent cut below 1990 levels proposed in the climate legislation passed in the House of Representatives last summer.
What's more, China, Mexico, Brazil, Indonesia, and other developing countries have committed to ambitious greenhouse gas pollution reductions if the United States would only do the same. Meanwhile, at the final round of negotiations ahead of Copenhagen in Barcelona this week, the African Group called for the suspense of negotiations over the Kyoto Protocol until the United States and industrialized world put significantly more ambitious numbers on the table.
"It is still possible for world leaders to prevent a climate catastrophe, but President Obama must lead the way with an unambiguous commitment to a fair, ambitious, and legally binding treaty that respects international law," added Moglen.
To lead the world toward a strong and fair treaty at the UN Climate Conference this December, President Obama must cut US global warming pollution 25-40 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 and launch a clean energy revolution that will end the US reliance on dirty, dangerous fossil fuels. President Obama must also support international funds that will protect the world's most vulnerable communities from the worst impacts of climate change, stop tropical deforestation, and help developing countries avoid dirty energy development.
CONTACTS: In Washington, Joe Smyth, 831-566-5647; From Barcelona climate talks, Mike Crocker, 202-215-8989 or +34 626 415 442