Biden, Snowe Urge Administration to Develop International Global Warming Strategy During Summit
In a letter sent to the Administration yesterday, U.S. Senators Joseph Biden (D-Del.) and Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine) urged the President to use the upcoming Major Economies Meeting on Energy Security and Climate Change summit to develop an international consensus for dealing with the issue of global warming.
"We urge the President to make the most of this opportunity to restore U.S. leadership on climate change. With these meetings, he has invited the right players to the table. But we need a fundamental change of course. We need a decision to arrest and reverse the accumulation of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere. Only coordinated international action can avert a global environmental, humanitarian, economic, and national security calamity," said Senator Biden.
"The world has been waiting for the President to exhibit world leadership on climate change and I am cautiously hopeful that this moment has finally arrived," Snowe said. "Now it is time to produce tangible results that demonstrate that the United States can again be leader on developing a comprehensive solution to an environmental crisis. The world requires American leadership and this upcoming summit provides a historic opportunity for this Administration and I implore them to seize this unique moment."
The text of the letter follows:
Dear Mr. President:
We look forward to a successful outcome for the "Major Economies Meeting on Energy Security and Climate Change" on September 27-28, 2007, where your Administration will be meeting with at least 16 of the world's major economies. Specifically, we hope it will contribute to the development of the international consensus needed to confront the economic, security, and environmental threat posed by global warming. Agreement among the nations you have invited will be essential to any successful global strategy to deal with this global issue. In particular, we support your commitment to make these meetings a contribution to ongoing international efforts under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Consistent with that goal, we strongly encourage you to work toward a consensus among the world's largest economic powers on a post-2012 framework establishing fair, effective, and binding commitments for all major emitting countries. Toward that end, we also urge the Administration to support the launch of formal negotiations under the UNFCCC in Bali, Indonesia this coming December.
Finally, we believe that only by leading at home with a mandatory national program to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions can we effectively bring other nations to rise to our example and commit to a comprehensive global effort. The recent Fourth Assessment Report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change tells us that we are facing too great of a risk to follow any other path.
We encourage and support your efforts to demonstrate United States' leadership to bring others with us to aggressively pursue a global solution to the critical challenges of climate change.
Joseph R. Biden, Jr., United States Senator
Olympia J. Snowe, United States Senator