News Release

White House Climate Proposal “Woefully Inadequate”

JANET REDMAN, janet at ips-dc.org, @Janet_IPS
Redman is climate policy program director at the Washington D.C.-based think tank the Institute for Policy Studies.

The group notes: “Today the White House released a proposal for U.S. action on climate change that it will bring to the table at the UN climate negotiations for a global agreement this December in Paris. The Intended Nationally Determined Contribution, as the formal submission is known, includes a cut in U.S. emissions of 26-28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025, but little else.”

Redman said today: “As the biggest historical emitter of climate pollution, we welcome the U.S. putting hard targets for reducing carbon emissions on paper. Unfortunately, the science is clear that this target is woefully inadequate to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius and avoid the worst impacts in our communities. To do our fair share, the U.S. should cut carbon pollution by twice as much, and put a number on the table for 2020 when the climate agreement kicks in.

“In addition, if the Obama administration intends to rely on policies like the Clean Power Plan as the pathway to emissions cuts, it must abandon the push for dirty and dangerous technologies like natural gas, waste incineration, and nuclear energy. The U.S. can and must support the transition to clean renewable energy, zero waste, sustainable food systems, efficient public transportation and housing, and other local and state action to dramatically lower emissions while protecting public health and local economies at home.

“Globally, our contribution can not end at emissions cuts. Conspicuously absent from the U.S. climate submission is any commitment of financing to support developing countries adapt to climate disruption and shift toward clean energy economies. Delivering finance to those countries least responsible for creating the climate crisis is not only morally right, it is our legal responsibility under the UN climate convention.”