Sen. Biden Issues Statement on UN Climate Report
Today, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a report on the need for international cooperation in combating rising global temperatures. The report anticipates an average global rise in temperature of 3° Celsius over the next century absent a concerted worldwide effort to reduce gas emissions and develop environmentally friendly technologies. Senator Joe Biden issued the following remarks on the United Nations climate change report:
"With the release of the Fourth Assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, action on global warming becomes even more urgent. We have wasted the past six years on the sidelines of international negotiations and our leadership is needed to produce a global solution.
"This report - the single most comprehensive source of climate data and analysis - shows that concentrations of greenhouse gases are at historic highs, that they are due to human activity, that global temperatures are rising, and that the consequences will range from costly to catastrophic.
"But the climate has not only changed on the outside, where the year just concluded was the warmest on record in the United States. The climate has also changed inside the halls of the Senate, where the causes and consequences of global warming - and how we should respond - will be a major concern of this new Congress.
"I have joined with Senator Lugar to urge the President to return the United States to a leadership role in international climate change negotiations. S. Res. 30 calls for United States participation in negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change - signed by the first President Bush - that will protect the economic and security interests of the United States, and that will commit all nations - developed and developing - that are major emitters of greenhouse gases to achieve significant long-term reductions in those emissions.
"There was a time when we could plead ignorance, but that day is past. The IPCC report removes all doubt and eliminates all excuses. Time is not on our side, and I sincerely hope the President will give the issue of climate change the attention it deserves."