In the wake of predictions that 2007 will again be one of the warmest years on record, 10 high-profile CEOs have teamed up to tell the Bush administration that it’s time to shape up on climate change. Calling themselves the United States Climate Action Partnership, the coalition yesterday urged President Bush to implement mandatory caps on U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.
The president is expected to mention climate change for the first time in his State of the Union address tonight. The new Congress is working to find realistic ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but President Bush has continued to oppose any enforceable approach.
President Bush’s voluntary approach has unfortunately failed to curb our emissions—U.S. greenhouse gas emissions have increased by 354 metric tons since 2001. In the face of that failure, Bush will reportedly propose tonight a vague 20 percent cut in gasoline consumption.
Because of the absence of national leadership on climate change, first states, and now the business community, have taken it upon themselves to advocate for policy change. USCAP’s proposal would establish a cap on carbon emissions, slowing the growth of greenhouse gas emissions in the next five years, and cutting emissions to 70 percent to 90 percent of today’s levels in 15 years.
The Center for American Progress also advocates the adoption of a national cap-and-trade program as part of a larger program to reach the long-term goal of preventing the global average temperature from rising more than 3.6°F degrees above pre-industrial levels. The program would include:
- The immediate creation of a national cap on emissions and a market for trading credits.
- Economy-wide implementation that protects early adopters, and provides opportunities for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and agriculture and forestry industries to participate.
- Potential for integration into international carbon credit trading markets in the future.
The international community has already proven its commitment to reducing greenhouse gasses by signing on to the Kyoto Protocol. Now the business community is joining them in a call to action.
Seventy-two percent of Americans think the federal government should impose mandatory controls on carbon dioxide emissions and other greenhouse gases, and nearly 90 percent believe the federal government should require or encourage companies and individuals to take action to reduce global warming. It’s time for the United States to play a leading role in establishing a global network to reverse the effects of climate change.
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