by Jake Schmidt
The draft of the American Power Act is now out (see NRDC's first read summary of the entire bill). The core global warming pollution limits in the bill, covering all major pollution sources, are a solid foundation for Senate legislation to put a final bill on President Obama’s desk this year. So how does this legislative proposal address the critical international investments that aid our international efforts to address global warming?
The bill includes most of the key tools to aid the world in addressing global warming but doesn’t provide the necessary funding to aid developing countries in deploying clean energy, reducing deforestation, and adapting to the impacts of climate change (as a coalition of 24 environmental, development, and religious groups has highlighted). The bill contains broad authorizing language for a program to reduce deforestation, provides for only a small and belated effort to help the most vulnerable developing countries, and doesn’t have any program for clean energy exports. Failure to provide the president with the needed tools to promote international cooperation will prove penny-wise but pound-foolish (this is one of the carbon program problems that must be fixed).
It is critical that the US become a strong component of international efforts to address global warming by passing a climate and energy bill this year. To aid in achieving strong international action and providing the US with the necessary tools to support other countries in addressing this challenge such a bill needs several key components Continued...