"The science is clear, and the physical consequences of global warming are obvious in shrinking polar ice caps, retreating glaciers, stronger storms, and changing rainfall patterns. We can expect rising sea levels, spreading diseases, and unpredictable, abrupt climate shifts. Even the richest nations will face huge costs coping with this challenge. The poorest nations will be hit the worst and willhave the fewest resources with which to respond. This is a recipe for global resource wars, and even great resentment of our wealth by those less fortunate - a new world disorder. We must act."
Joe Biden's Climate Change Action Plan
There is scientific consensus that our climate is warming and human activity is driving it. Global warming not only has serious consequences for our environment, it poses a serious national security threat. We not only need to act at home to cap greenhouse gas emissions, we also need to work towards a global solution.
Joe Biden will work to: Restore U.S. Leadership On Climate Change
* Immediately direct U.S. negotiators to return to global climate change negotiations, to seek binding commitments among all major emitting nations - including emerging nations such as China and India - to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to levels that prevent catastrophic global warming.
* Use U.S. leverage to bring big developing countries, like China and India, into a global climate change treaty.
Cap Greenhouse Gas Emissions In the US
* Reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050 by imposing a cap and trade system.
Increase Use Of Renewable Energy
* Set a national renewable portfolio standard of 20 percent to require that at least 20 percent of the country's electricity comes from clean, renewable sources like wind, solar, biomass and geothermal - just 2.3 percent of our power comes from these sources today.
Increase Fuel Economy
* Raise fuel economy standards so that the U.S. reaches a 40 mpg average by 2017 (the current average is 27.5 mpg) and cuts greenhouse gas emissions by more than a 100 million tons a year.
* Authorize NHTSA to develop an attribute-based fuel economy model to increase fuel economy for individual vehicle models by 4 percent per year increase - approximately 1 mile per gallon each year.
Increase Use of Renewable Fuels
* Require all new cars to be flexible fuel vehicles by 2017 that can run on regular gas or home-grown fuel like ethanol. Currently just 5 million cars can do that - every new car in America should be able to.
* Require big companies - those that operate more than 4,500 gas stations - to add alternative fuel pumps so that at least a quarter of all gas stations nationwide have them by 2017.
* Increase the amount of ethanol and biodiesel included in the nation's fuel supply by extending and increasing the renewable fuel standard. Currently the renewable fuel standard sets a benchmark of 7.5 billion gallons by 2012. (U.S. gasoline consumption is 140 billion gallons/year). Senator Biden would increase the benchmarks to: 10 billion gallons by 2010; 30 billion gallons by 2020; 60 billion gallons by 2030.
Invest In Building Next-Generation Highly Efficient Vehicles
* Invest in the technology that our domestic car manufacturers need to build highly efficient plug-in hybrids by doubling the current investment in research and development of lithium-ion batteries from $40 million a year to $100 million a year. The Japanese dominate the market for lithium ion batteries that go into hybrids. That's because they've been investing millions in the technology for years. The Chinese and Koreans aren't far behind. Instead of playing catch-up the US should be a leader.
Require the Federal Government To Be More Energy Efficient
* Require the federal government to purchase 10 percent renewable electricity by 2010 and 20 percent by the end of the next decade.
* Increase federal building energy efficiency by requiring a 30 percent reduction in energy use over the next ten years.
* Save taxpayers money - almost $4 billion dollars - and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by millions of tons.
Encourage Americans To Use Energy Efficiently
* Create the Flip-to-Save program to provide $50 million in funding to states to administer programs to educate consumers on efficient technology and distribute highly efficient compact florescent light bulbs which use a quarter of the energy of regular bulbs. If every family across the US replaces just one regular incandescent bulb with a CFL, we can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 7 million tons per year.
* Expand the "Energy Star Program" to include standards for more appliances and commercial systems.
* Support local updates to building codes to capture cost-effective energy efficiency opportunities in new residential/commercial construction
* Increase incentives for energy efficient commercial buildings and manufacturing sector