Copenhagen Outcome: Not Done Yet

By Larry J. Schweiger

Regarding today’s outcome at the Copenhagen climate negotiations, I applaud President Obama for his determination to not let these talks fail and his success working with China. The deal is incomplete and we’re not done yet. But at long last all the top polluters of the world, including the United States and China, are putting numbers on the table to cut pollution in a transparent way.

The agreement keeps the process moving forward to a more effective agreement in 2010. But we will need far more ambitious global cooperation to fill in the missing pieces next year. The Senate needs to get busy and deliver the stalled climate and clean energy bill to the president to create jobs and do our share to reduce global warming pollution. And I urge President Obama to continue his consistent leadership on climate change by moving forward with action under the Clean Air Act.

Until we have a domestic policy in place to reduce global warming pollution and unleash private investments for clean energy, we will be challenged to regain our global competitive edge and we will continue to be a stumbling block to a binding global climate agreement.

We need to step up our efforts at home to produce legislation that sets the U.S. on an ambitious path to aggressive limits on global warming pollution.

We must get a climate bill passed by the U.S. Senate by Earth Day April 22, 2010. Without it, the U.S. stands to lose the global clean energy race and the world stands to leave its most vulnerable communities to face rising seas, severe water shortages, forest fires, sustained droughts and major floods.

I’m imploring upon anyone who feels an obligation to leave behind a better world for their family and safeguard wildlife for our children’s future to join our fight to change the forecast for people and wildlife.