Obama gets a wish list from green groups

November 15, 2008 at 3:45 am | Posted in Climate and politics | Leave a comment
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More than 30 leading environmental groups endorsed a set of recommendations on climate and energy policy delivered to President-elect Barack Obama’s transition team in the days after the election.

The groups involved include the Environmental Defense Fund, the League of Conservation Voters, the National Audubon Society, and the National Wildlife Federation, among others.

According to the groups, the policy changes proposed are necessary to stem increases in the earth’s average surface temperature to 2 degrees Fahrenheit, a threshold that many scientists think it would be dangerous to cross.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has said that temperatures can likely be held below a 2-degree rise if developed countries cut their emissions by 25 percent to 40 percent from 1990 levels by 2020, and by 80 percent by 2050.

The green group’s recommendations follow:

1. Work with Congress to pass legislation in 2009 that revitalizes our economy and delivers energy and climate security –

• Set mandatory limits that reduce US global warming pollution consistent with keeping further warming below 2° F, including ambitious domestic reductions targets for 2020 and 2050, a cap and auction program and other policies to make additional reductions at home and abroad, and a prompt science-based review to accelerate reductions if necessary.

• Auction the carbon permits and use the revenue for investing in a massive clean energy transition, creating green jobs, protecting vulnerable communities and natural resources, and providing consumer relief, especially to those most in need.

• Move America towards a 100% clean electricity future by maximizing energy efficiency, modernizing the grid, and greatly expanding power generation from renewable energy resources.

• Get America moving by investing in clean transportation infrastructure that cuts global warming pollution.

2. Tackle global warming using the executive branch’s powers under existing laws –

• Grant the California waiver, allowing California and 13 other states to enforce their standards for global warming pollution from vehicles.

• Use the Clean Air Act to declare that global warming pollution endangers public health and welfare and to set standards for power plants, vehicles, and fuels.

• Use our energy laws to strengthen fuel economy and appliance efficiency standards.

• Order every agency to consider global warming in its actions affecting energy use and managing natural resources and to develop a coordinated, interagency natural resources adaptation strategy.

3. Restore America’s global leadership on global warming –

• Demonstrate US action by setting mandatory limits on our own global warming pollution through new legislation and implementation of existing laws.

• Work with other nations to reach a new climate treaty that keeps further warming below 2° F at the Copenhagen climate summit at the end of 2009.

• Lead a worldwide effort to finance clean energy deployment, forest conservation, and adaptation to unavoidable climate impacts.

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