WWF Calls on President, Congress for Leadership in Passing Climate and Energy Legislation

WASHINGTON, DC–(ENEWSPF)–May 13, 2010 – World Wildlife Fund issued the following statement yesterday from CEO Carter Roberts concerning the public release of draft clean energy and climate legislation in the US Senate:

“Today, we are one step closer to leaving our kids a safer, cleaner and more prosperous world with the introduction of the American Power Act by Senators John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.).

“As one of the greatest environmental catastrophes in our nation’s history unfolds off our Gulf Coast, the costs of Washington’s failure to act on energy are piling up: fishermen who can’t fish, coastal communities bracing for the worst, fragile ecosystems spoiled for decades.  And these are only the impacts that we can easily see.  The long-term costs of unfettered climate change are even greater, such as super storms in the East, as exemplified by unprecedented flooding in Nashville, and ocean acidification that could permanently destroy our fisheries.

“Let us resolve to finally break our addiction to dirty fossil fuels and usher in an era of clean energy independence.  We have the technology today to transition to an economy that relies on clean abundant American energy that will never spill.  All we need is the political will and 60 votes in the US Senate.

“To avoid the worst impacts of climate change and accelerate the transition to a clean economy, the content of the bill matters. In particular we need a science-based limit on dangerous carbon pollution that will send a strong signal to the private sector. The bill’s long-term target meets this standard, but its 2020 target does not.

“Conspicuously absent from the bill are investments to reduce emissions by protecting tropical forests and deploying clean technologies in developing economies.  At the same time, support for helping the most vulnerable countries prepare for climate disruptions has been reduced and delayed. These investments are vital to securing a global climate pact, decreasing costs and growing American jobs by creating markets for products we produce at home.  These should be restored as the bill moves forward.

“I commend Senators Kerry and Lieberman for their leadership and persistence in keeping energy and climate at the top of the Congressional agenda. It is now up to President Obama and Senate leadership to ensure that we seize this moment to strengthen and pass a clean energy and climate bill this year. Only then will we address the root causes of the gulf disaster and help ensure it is never repeated off our coasts.”