Issue Date: December 17, 2007
"SO TODAY WE dumped another 70 million tons of global-warming pollution into the thin shell of atmosphere surrounding our planet, as if it were an open sewer. And tomorrow we will dump a slightly larger amount, with the cumulative concentrations now trapping more and more heat from the sun."
Al Gore, Nobel Peace Prize address, Dec. 10, 2007
"IF THERE'S NO ACTION before 2012, that's too late. What we do in the next two to three years will determine our future. This is the defining moment."
Rajendra Pachauri, head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Nov. 17, 2007
"THE UNITED STATES could reduce greenhouse gas emissions in 2030 by 3.0 to 4.5 gigatons of CO2e [CO2 equivalent] using tested approaches and high-potential emerging technologies. These reductions would involve pursuing a wide array of abatement options available at marginal costs less than $50 per ton, with the average net cost to the economy being far lower if the nation can capture sizable gains from energy efficiency. Achieving these reductions at the lowest cost to the economy, however, will require strong, coordinated, economy-wide action that begins in the near future."
"Reducing U.S. Greenhouse Emissions: How Much at What Cost?" McKinsey & Co. white paper prepared with support from industry and ngos, December 2007
"IN JUNE 2005, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences joined with the scientific academies of ten other countries in stating that 'the scientific understanding of climate change is now sufficiently clear to justify nations taking prompt action.'
"Each year we delay action to control emissions increases the risk of unavoidable consequences that could necessitate even steeper reductions in the future, at potentially greater economic cost and social disruption. Action sooner rather than later preserves valuable response options, narrows the uncertainties associated with changes to the climate, and should lower the costs of mitigation and adaptation.
"For these reasons, we, the members of the U.S. Climate Action Partnership (USCAP) have joined together to recommend the prompt enactment of national legislation in the United States to slow, stop, and reverse the growth of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions over the shortest period of time reasonably achievable."
"A Call for Action," USCAP, a partnership of NGOs and businesses including Dow Chemical, DuPont, Johnson & Johnson, PG&E, and Shell, November 2007
"RECOMMENDATION 2A—The U.S. should immediately adopt nationwide goals for rapid and deep reductions in CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions and develop effective economic drivers to achieve these goals. Options such as emission cap and trade regimes, carbon taxes, or emissions taxes need to be devised, tested, and implemented on a national basis. The U.S. should work closely with all major greenhouse gas emitter nations to secure their commitment to similar greenhouse gas emission reductions.
"Recommendation 2b—The U.S. should significantly raise its public and private sector investments in technologies to mitigate climate change through economically viable energy conservation, biomass fuel substitution for fossil fuels, carbon sequestration, and non-fossil fuel based energy sources."
American Chemical Society, public policy statement adopted by the Board of Directors, Dec. 9, 2007
"WE DON'T BELIEVE targets and timetables are important, or a global cap and trade system. It's important not to jeopardize economic growth."
Harlan L. Watson, U.S. senior climate negotiator, at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change meetings in Bonn, Germany, May 17, 2007
"WE DON'T THINK it's prudent or reasonable to start off with some set of numbers."
Harlan L. Watson, at the Un Climate Change Conference in Bali, Indonesia, Dec. 11, 2007
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