The Progressive


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Greenpeace Reaction to US Climate Offer

Statement by Greenpeace Legislative Representative Kyle Ash 


In advance of the UN climate negotiations in Paris, the Obama Administration announced a plan to target a 26-28 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2025. Greenpeace analysis has shown that the US can achieve at least 40 percent cuts in that time frame to help avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

An independent report from the Meister Consultants Group recently showed that Greenpeace's predictions on significant renewable energy growth have been most accurate over the past 15 years:

Greenpeace Legislative Representative Kyle Ash said:

"The Obama Administration has submitted a plan to reduce US climate impacts that begins to treat the wound, but does not stop the bleeding. As the world's second largest emitter, the US must strengthen its commitment to climate solutions before Paris to ensure an agreement that immediately spurs the necessary transition away from fossil fuels and towards 100 percent renewable energy.

"We welcome the US submission as a first step, but it would not do enough to avert global catastrophe. People in California are already suffering through extreme droughts; many in New York and New Jersey are still out of their homes from Superstorm Sandy, as we wait on the next big storm to hit; and Florida faces entire cities underwater by the end of the century. We can no longer afford to delay significant cuts to greenhouse gas emissions - Greenpeace's Energy [R]evolution analysis has shown we can achieve a 40 percent reduction below 2005 levels by 2025.

"President Obama's Administration must improve the 2025 target, but at the same time cannot undercut this goal through bad climate decisions he seems to hope we ignore. A serious commitment to climate action means rejecting projects that boost supply and exacerbate dependence on fossil fuels, whether it's the Keystone XL pipeline or oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean. The administration is leading us in the wrong direction when it comes to expanding extraction of coal, gas and oil from public lands and dumping these climate polluting fuels onto the global market. The Obama administration now has a history of setting decent targets and offering nice talking points on climate, but not backing that up with urgent and significant actions to move away from fossil fuels.

"By announcing its plan ahead of Paris as agreed, the US has at least shown it is committed to the negotiation process and willing to push the other nearly 200 countries to deliver. It is incredibly important countries move quickly in developing strong proposals for climate action so we can step back and assess the progress toward an agreement in December. The US must also listen to ideas for improving its target over the next eight months - this should be a starting point, not an inflexible final position. When all eyes turn to Paris, will citizens around the world see more politicking or a revolutionary shift toward renewable energy solutions?"

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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