Bipartisan Senators’ letter warns Bush, backs D G8 plan

June 4, 2007 at 2:19 pm | Posted in 2°C, Bipartisan, Climate change, G8, Senators | Leave a comment

Update: Here, from the Democratic Caucus’s Senate Journal, is the text of the ‘Bipartisan Group of Senators Call on President to Make Climate Change a Priority for G8 Summit’ letter:

June 4, 2007

The President
The White House
Washington, D.C. 20500

Mr. President:

With the approach of the G8 Summit in Heiligendamm, Germany, in June, we are writing to urge constructive engagement by the United States in the development of a joint communiqué on the issue of climate change. Chancellor Merkel, current President of the G8 and host of the Summit, has proposed a set of principles to guide the development of an effective multilateral response to global warming. We believe your support fora clear consensus on those principles could advance the interests of the United States and could open the door to the meaningful participation of developing nations in a global solution to this global problem.

Those principles are: the enunciation of a long-term goal to guide international action on climate change; the use of emissions trading and other market-based mechanisms to provide economic incentives for the most efficient paths to emissions reductions; the development and deployment of clean energy technologies, an area in which the United States has the opportunity to become a world leader; the avoidance of deforestation, a major source of greenhouse gas emissions; and stronger international support for adaptation to climate change, particularly in disadvantaged countries that are most vulnerable to climate impacts and are least able to adapt.

We believe consensus on these principles would put us on a path toward a more inclusive and effective multilateral approach, one that protects and enhances the economic security of our country, provides flexibility for nations to pursue different policy approaches, engages the efficiency and ingenuity of the private sector, and secures commitments by all major emitting nations, both developed and developing.

We appreciate that there are other issues of significant importance to be discussed at Heiligendamm. We also recognize that progress on climate change discussions can contribute to consensus on the wider range of items on the Summit’s agenda.

Mr. President, you have made clear that you understand the challenge climate change poses to our nation and our planet. To meet this challenge, both the United States and developing nations, five of whom will participate in the proceedings at Heiligendamm, must join in the solution. Your leadership in the search for consensus will be essential to a successful outcome and we hope you feel, as we do, the great urgency to move forward on worldwide greenhouse gas emissions reductions.

Thank you for considering our views. We look forward to a successful outcome from the 33rd G8 Summit.

Sincerely,

Senator Joseph R. Biden, Jr., Chairman
Senator Olympia Snowe
Senator Jeff Bingaman
Senator Barbara Boxer
Senator John F. Kerry
Senator Dianne Feinstein
Senator Benjamin L. Cardin
Senator Sherrod Brown
Senator Arlen Specter

Senators warn Bush on G8 climate push
AFP
Monday, June 04, 2007 23:31 ISTWASHINGTON: A bipartisan group of US senators on Monday warned President George W. Bush not to block efforts by the Group of Eight summit this week to agree concrete measures to combat global warming.

In a letter to Bush, 20 senators also called for American leadership to tackle climate change, and voiced support for G8 host Germany’s plan for concrete steps to tackle the threat.

The senators upped pressure on Bush days after he announced plans for a “new framework” in which the world’s biggest carbon polluters would set long-term goals for curbing greenhouse gases.

The plan was criticised by some Bush political opponents, and in some foreign capitals, as not going far enough.

“President Bush has offered promising rhetoric, but has been short of real commitments and specifics,” said Senator Joseph Biden, chairman of the Democratic-led Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

“I hope the US can be a consensus builder in this week’s G8 discussions, not a roadblock,” Biden said in a statement accompanying the letter.

Republican Senator Olympia Snowe voiced support for climate change proposals framed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

“I believe that Chancellor Merkel has proposed a constructive framework that produces tangible results and it is incumbent on the President to either work within this framework or propose an alternative,” said Snowe.

“Postponing this issue for a future summit would be a disservice in establishing American leadership on this critical issue and I implore the President to rise to this momentous occasion.

Germany has called for a statement limiting worldwide temperature rise this century to two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) and cuts to global greenhouse emissions to 50 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.

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