Enviro Group Climate Legislation Principles
As Lieberman-Warner has its first hearing, Sierra Club, Audobon, Physicians for Social Responsibility, U.S. PIRG released these seven principles for climate change legislation:
- Reform energy policy: New national energy policies should encourage efficiency, innovation, competition, and fairness. We need more aggressive energy efficiency policies for electricity and buildings, increased CAFE standards like those passed by the Senate, and the renewable electricity standard included in the House energy bill.
- Promote a clean energy future: Invest in energy efficiency and renewable energy to create new industries and good jobs here at home.
- Cap and cut carbon emissions to science-based levels: Science tells us in order to prevent the worst impacts of global warming we must start cutting global warming pollution by 2012, with reductions in total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions of at least 15 to 20 percent below current levels by 2020 and 80 percent by mid-century.
- Use all public assets for public benefit: The value of carbon permits should benefit the public – through auctions or other mechanisms – not generate windfalls for polluting industries. Free allocations, if any, must be limited to a short transition period.
- Ensure a just transition: Allowances should be used to help finance a just transition that keeps and creates jobs, reduces impacts on low-and moderate-income citizens, and mitigates harm to affected workers and communities.
- Provide aid to adapt to an altered climate: Allowances should be used to help distressed and impoverished people around the world, as well as wildlife and ecosystems in the face of global warming’s varied threats.
- Manage costs without breaking the cap. “Safety valves” and other devices that break the cap on emissions must not be allowed. Any offsets must be real, surplus, verifiable, permanent, and enforceable.