Center for Biological Diversity Statement on Senate Climate Bill

For Immediate Release


Bill Snape, Center for Biological Diversity, (202) 536-9351,

Center for Biological Diversity Statement on Senate Climate Bill

WASHINGTON - The Center for Biological Diversity issued the following statement
today from Executive Director Kierán Suckling, responding to the Kerry-Boxer Senate Climate bill released today.

"The Kerry-Boxer climate bill marks a baby step forward in the ever
more urgent fight against climate catastrophe, but much bolder action
is needed.

"We applaud senators Kerry and Boxer for
introducing legislation that builds on the success of the Clean Air
Act. The Clean Air Act has reduced air pollution for 40 years and is
one of our most powerful tools in fighting global warming and
protecting human health. This legislation recognizes that now more than
ever, we need every tool in the tool box to curb global warming, and it
retains the safety net of the Clean Air Act to reduce greenhouse

"While the Senate bill recognizes the
absolute necessity of stronger emissions reduction targets, the targets
in the Senate bill - like those in the House bill - are woefully
inadequate. This legislation would not save the polar bear and numerous
other species and ecosystems because it simply does not go far enough
quickly enough.

"The scientific consensus is clear:
We must reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide to no more than 350 parts per
million. Leading climate scientists have called for reductions of
approximately 40 percent below 1990 levels to avoid climate
catastrophe, and yet this bill aims to deliver only a 20-percent
reduction from 2005 levels."

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has found that to reach even 450 ppm CO2eq (corresponding to approximately 400 ppm CO2),
the emissions of the United States and other developed countries should
be reduced by 25 to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2020.1 Thus, to reach 350 ppm CO2, the United States must achieve or exceed the upper end of this range.

Forty of the world's leading climate scientists, including former IPCC chair Sir John Houghton, have called
for industrialized countries to make a commitment at the United Nations
climate summit in Copenhagen to cut carbon emissions to at least 40
percent below 1990 levels by 2020 "to avoid the worst impacts of
climate change."

The Center for Biological
Diversity is advocating for legislation that sets an overall cap on
atmospheric carbon dioxide levels consistent with the best available
science of no more than 350 ppm, which would require reducing emissions
approximately 40 to 45 percent below 1990 levels; that works with,
rather than replaces, the Clean Air Act; and that eliminates or greatly
reduces offsets and other loopholes.


At the Center for Biological Diversity, we believe that the welfare of human beings is deeply linked to nature - to the existence in our world of a vast diversity of wild animals and plants. Because diversity has intrinsic value, and because its loss impoverishes society, we work to secure a future for all species, great and small, hovering on the brink of extinction. We do so through science, law, and creative media, with a focus on protecting the lands, waters, and climate that species need to survive.

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