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Greenpeace Applauds Waxman Global Warming Principle


In contrast to the government's absence of leadership in response to the financial crisis, today 152 members of Congress outlined the strongest plan yet to address the global warming crisis in a statement of principles delivered to Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The legislative blueprint offers hope the United States will take meaningful action on global warming in 2009 and reflect the growing power of the national movement calling for solutions to the climate crisis.

The letter follows a national effort by Greenpeace activists, volunteers, and a coalition of environmental, faith-based, human rights, and labor organizations to educate their leaders about the dangers of global warming and the benefits of swift action. We applaud Reps. Waxman, Markey, and Inslee for championing these principles, which propose a multi-faceted approach to solving global warming by capping greenhouse gas emissions, investing in clean energy sources, energy efficency, and kicking our addiction to dirty and dangerous fossil fuels. The principles show that the solutions to our economic crisis and to global warming can be one and the same.

"Having this many members of Congress stand for strong solutions to global warming shows the power of this amazing coalition," said Greenpeace USA Executive Director John Passacantando. "People of faith, working families, and businesses are all worried about the impact of global warming on the environment and the economy, and it's time the rest of Congress listened to them too."

The principles lay out the signers' key expectations for any global warming legislation. They demand strong, science-based emissions targets that would achieve at least 25% reductions by 2020 and a long-term target to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050. The principles also call for auctioning emission allowances rather than giving them to polluters; investing auction revenues in clean energy and efficiency technologies; and returning revenues to consumers, workers, and communities to help them transition to a new energy economy. The principles would protect the right of states to go even further, and includes measures to protect against trade disadvantages to U.S. industry. Finally, the principles call for dedicating a portion of auction revenues to help address harm from the impacts of global warming that are now unavoidable.

"Tackling the global warming crisis demands the full commitment of all levels of government, and 152 members of Congress have taken an important step by outlining a blueprint for success," said Passacantando. "We need Congress and the new presidential administration to come together and turn these ideas into action by passing comprehensive, science-based legislation as soon as possible."

Greenpeace is a global, independent campaigning organization that uses peaceful protest and creative communication to expose global environmental problems and promote solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future.

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