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Letter to The Honorable George W. Bush, President of the United States

Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) today joined with Select Committee on Global Climate Change Chairman Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) in sending a letter to President George Bush urging a strong and productive US role in the climate negotiations. Their letter asks the Administration to stop objecting to important language regarding emission reduction targets. Kerry personally attended the international conference in climate change in Bali earlier this week.

"The United States can no longer be the leading opponent of action on climate change. This week in Bali is a moment for leaders from all over the world to come together and send a strong, compelling message about our common commitment to a global solution on climate change that reflects the urgency of everything the science tells us. At this critical time, we can't afford to have the Bush Administration muddying the waters and blocking reasonable targets from being established," said Sen. Kerry. "The United States needs instead to make it clear we are prepared to lead again."

"I implore the President to reassert American environmental leadership, and forge a specific science-based pathway that will finally reduce carbon emissions," said Sen. Snowe. "The opportunity for mitigating climate change is rapidly closing, and I urge the President to heed the call of the IPCC, the international community, and the American people and move forward with meaningful action in the next 10 to 15 years."

"The president sent 57 administration representatives to Bali so he could have 57 ways to say ‘no' to the international community on solutions to global warming," said Rep. Markey, Chairman of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. "Instead of taking real action on global warming, his continued strategy of denial and delay says to a very sick planet ‘take two aspirin and call me when I leave office.'"

Below is the text of the letter:

December 12, 2007

The Honorable George W. Bush
President of the United States
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

Representatives of 190 nations, including the United States, are meeting now in Bali, Indonesia, to discuss the critical issue of global warming and to plan for further progress under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol. At these negotiations, the United States has a historic opportunity to regain its position as a world leader and to develop a clear roadmap for fighting global warming.

In spite of the tremendous urgency for worldwide action, negotiators for the United States are opposing key science-based provisions which would chart a path forward for immediate action. In particular, U.S. negotiators are opposing any language that would establish the need for action within the next 10-15 years, and which would provide an appropriate range of emission reductions targets for developed countries. The clear implication is that the United States will refuse to agree to any language putting the United States on an established path toward scientifically-based emission limits.

U.S. negotiators are also opposing any reference to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's conclusions on the emission reductions needed to avoid dangerous global warming. The IPCC, which shared a Nobel Peace Prize for its comprehensive and scientifically-based assessment of global warming, was supported by the U.S. and relies on the work of key U.S. government scientists.

We write to express our strong disagreement with these positions and to urge you to direct the U.S. negotiating team to work together with other countries to complete a roadmap with a clear objective sufficient to combat global warming. The United States must adopt negotiating positions at the Bali Conference of the Parties that are designed to propel further progress-- not fuel additional delay.

The world at large is watching the United States closely at this historic moment. As the Bali negotiations come to a close, nothing less than strong leadership from the United States will do.


Senate cosigners: Sens. Kerry, Snowe, Sanders, Feinstein, Lieberman, Menendez, Kennedy, Boxer, Biden, Durbin, Bingaman, Cardin, Lautenberg, Brown, Klobuchar, Obama, Specter, Leahy, Feingold, Clinton, Cantwell, Schumer, Whitehouse, Inouye and Collins.

House cosigners: Reps. Markey, Miller, Frank, Emanuel, Slaughter, Waxman, Lantos, Blumenauer, Solis, Inslee, Hall, Larson, Hinchey, Capps, Conyers, Hodes, Honda, Delahunt, Allen, Maloney, McNerny, DeLauro, McGovern, Mark Udall, Grijalva, Welch, Eshoo.

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