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In Lead Up to International Climate Talks, Researchers Indicate Need for Greater American Leadership

Domestic plans must surpass ambition of Obama administration
    WASHINGTON, DC, November 07, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- In a recent speech in London, the U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change Todd Stern stated: "The most important drivers of climate action are countries acting at home....Most of this transformation will take place in the private sector, where energy is produced and consumed, but governments need to set the rules of the road, provide the incentives, remove the barriers, fund the R&D, and spur the investment needed to hasten this transformation." New research this month, however, details how President Barack Obama's plans fall short of necessary actions, and outlines additional and alternative policies the U.S. must adopt. The group advocates a fee on emissions of greenhouse gases from all energy sources, a national green bank, regulating fossil fuel exports, administrative actions, and a number of other policy reforms.

Weber said today: "The President's Climate Action Plan does not represent enough of a commitment from the U.S. to keep temperatures from rising more than 2˚C, which is the entire basis for the UN Climate talks. In order for there to be any chance of a meaningful deal, we have to deliver much deeper emissions reductions."

Some excerpts from the report:

"The United States has internationally committed to the goal of reducing anthropogenic emissions of climate change causing greenhouse gases by 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020. However, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the world's leading international scientific climate change authority, says that industrialized nations must reduce their emissions from 1990 levels by 25 to 40 percent by 2020 in order to remain on track to keep global average temperatures from rising more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels—the temperature increase that scientists, policy experts, and governments have agreed is the safe upper limit. For the United States, this would mean a 36-49 percent reduction in emissions from 2005 levels—more than double our current emissions goal. ...

"The Plan reduces net domestic greenhouse gas emissions from their 2005 levels by 29.4-54.2% in 2020 and 57.5-108.4% by 2050...

Dorsey added: "In addition to much more aggressive emissions reductions from the United States, there are a number of specific things we can do to demonstrate to the international community our willingness to act boldly." Suggestions include:

-Remove wasteful fossil fuel subsidies in the U.S. in order to encourage international action where large emissions reductions could be achieved
-Establish a Global Renewable Energy and Efficiency Exchange Network (G.R.E.E.E.N.) to encourage international cooperation on renewable energy technologies and abolish programs like the Unconventional Gas Technical Engagement Program (UGTEP) which create fossil fuel infrastructure "lock-in"
-Transition away from record funding levels for fossil-fuel projects through the Export-Import Bank and begin shifting funding towards financing renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies
-Use administrative powers to reject major projects under federal jurisdiction determined to have significant impact on global emissions to set a major precedent for other world leaders to follow

Dorsey and Weber are with U.S. Climate Plan and are co-authors of a recently released report: "The Plan: How the U.S. Can Help Stabilize The Climate and Create A Clean Energy Future." The report is available for download at:

Interviews Available from Warsaw, Poland and Washington, DC

EVAN WEBER, (860) 704-9445,, @usclimateplan,@evanlweber
MICHAEL DORSEY, (734) 945-6424,, @GreenHejira

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Contact Information

Evan Weber
U.S. Climate Plan

Washington, DC
Voice: 8607049445
E-Mail: Email Us Here
Website: Visit Our Website

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