The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

on site:
Molly Dorozenski, media officer: 917-864-3724
Gabe Wisniewski, climate campaigner: 414-350-4704
DC office:
Jane Kochersperger, media officer: 202-680-3798

Greenpeace Emergency Response Unit Declares the US Chamber of Commerce a Climate Crime Scene: Industry Lobbyists Hold Obama's Climate Policy Hostage in Copenhagen


As Obama prepares to leave for the Copenhagen
climate talks this afternoon, Greenpeace activists staged an emergency
response at the US Chamber of Commerce today, directly across from the
White House. Activists ascended 25-foot ladders and crisscrossed the
building with oversized crime scene tape reading: "Climate Policy
Hostage Area// Global Warming Crime Scene." The US Chamber of Commerce
has committed a series of climate crimes including: misinformation of
the public on the issue of climate change, stalling action on global
warming legislation, and holding the international climate talks
hostage. Activists are calling on President Obama to show leadership
and shed the influence of lobbyists.The fleet of climate emergency
vehicles: four squad cars from the Climate Crime Unit and an ambulance
from the "Climate Emergency Response Unit" reacted rapidly to the
situation. Greenpeace activists marked off the area immediately in
front of the Chamber, along H Street, with "Global Warming Crime Scene"

Jim Riccio, chief Climate Policy Hostage Negotiator, was on the scene,
working to negotiate the safe release of President Obama's climate
policy from the hands of industry lobbyists. At the time of this
release, it was unclear if the negotiations would be effective, and
would lead to a strong deal at the talks in Copenhagen. "The stakes
are high," said Riccio, "But we're all hoping everyone comes out of
this situation alive. These climate criminals need to know: survival
is not negotiable."

"President Obama owes it to Americans and all people threatened by
climate change to listen to scientists, not polluter lobbyists. The US
Chamber of Commerce has been undermining our climate policy for too
long -- and they are now preventing us from getting a fair, ambitious
and binding deal in Copenhagen," said Greenpeace Climate Campaigner
Gabe Wisniewski.

To date, the US has only agreed to a provisional goal of cutting
greenhouse pollution by 4 percent below 1990 levels. This offer falls
dangerously short of the necessary 25-40 percent cut identified by the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to have the best chance of
avoiding the worst impacts of global warming. These weak commitments
from the US are part of the reason the Copenhagen talks are reaching
such a tepid result. The Chamber spent millions lobbying to weaken the
House-passed legislation earlier this year.

While the proposed U.S. climate legislation remains weak, President
Obama has the legal authority to implement far more rigorous greenhouse
gas regulations under the Clean Air Act and join an international
agreement with or without Senate ratification.

Photos and video are available at:

Follow the action on Twitter at

UPDATE: Four Greenpeace activists have descended ladders at the
climate crime scene at the US Chamber of Commerce and have been
arrested. The activists are: Jarred Cobb, Larry Liebler, Kate Lauer and
Lisa Ramden.

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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