June 8 Democratic Platform Forum In Washington DC: Details of Time and Location Revealed

Posted by Brad Johnson Sun, 05 Jun 2016 04:13:00 GMT

Beginning on Wednesday, the Democratic Party plans to hold a two-day forum in Washington DC to solicit public testimony on the national platform. Details on when and where the forum will take place were released to press on Saturday. The forum was announced on May 27.

On Wednesday, June 8th and Thursday, June 9th at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C., the 2016 Democratic Platform Drafting Committee will hold the first in a series of regional events. The forum is broken up into three thematic sessions, the first beginning at 1:30 pm on Wednesday and scheduled to go to 5 pm. Thursday has two sessions scheduled, a morning session from 9 am to 12 pm, and and afternoon session from 1 pm to 5 pm.

Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Platform Drafting Chair Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), and Democratic National Convention Committee (DNCC) CEO, Rev. Leah D. Daughtry will deliver opening remarks at the forum. The Drafting Committee will then hear from policy experts and other Democrats, chosen from people who have applied to testify.

The schedule for Wednesday involves one afternoon session entitled “Leveling the Playing Field: Creating Opportunity and Removing Barriers.” Thursday morning is “Moving America Forward: Education, Jobs, and the Economy,” and the afternoon is “America’s Role in the World.”

Although there are not explicit references to climate, energy, and the environment in the session titles, it is expected to come up in public testimony.

The Platform Drafting Committee includes two prominent environmentalists, one chosen by each campaign. Bill McKibben, the founder of 350.org, was selected by the Sanders campaign. Carol Browner, the former EPA Administrator under Clinton’s husband, and the chair of the League of Conservation Voters (which endorsed Hillary Clinton last fall), was selected by the Clinton campaign. Browner works for the international lobbying and consulting firm Albright Stonebridge Group.

See below for the full press release:

MEDIA ADVISORY

Democratic National Convention Committee Convenes Mid-Atlantic Democratic Platform Forum

Democrats Asked to Make their Voices Heard by Providing Written Testimony, Submitting Video Testimony or Requesting to Appear in Person

PHILADELPHIA, PA – On Wednesday, June 8th and Thursday, June 9th at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C., the 2016 Democratic Platform Drafting Committee will hold the first in a series of regional events designed to engage every voice in the Party. Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Platform Drafting Chair Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), and Democratic National Convention Committee (DNCC) CEO, Rev. Leah D. Daughtry will deliver opening remarks at the forum. The Drafting Committee will then hear from policy experts and Democrats from all walks of life to inform the Democratic National Platform.

In an effort to welcome every voice in the Party, the DNCC has announced multiple ways in which the public can participate in the series of regional events. Democrats interested in providing testimony can go to www.demconvention.com/platform to submit written or video testimony. Members of the public interested in attending the events can also RSVP online; seating will be available on a first come, first served basis.

WHAT:         Democratic National Platform Forum
WHEN:         Wednesday, June 8 , 2016
Session 1 – 1:30 to 5:00 PM
Leveling the Playing Field: Creating Opportunity and Removing Barriers

Thursday, June 9 , 2016
Session 2 – 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Moving America Forward: Education, Jobs, and the Economy

Session 3 –1:00 PM to 5:00 PM
America’s Role in the World

(All times are approximate)

WHERE: The Omni Shoreham Hotel, 2500 Calvert Street, NW, Washington, DC 20008

All Platform forums and meetings will be live streamed atwww.demconvention.com/platform and open to press. Members of the media interested in attending must RSVP by emailing chuntley@demconvention.comby Tuesday, June 7, 2016 at 5:00 PM ET.

About the Democratic National Convention

The 2016 Democratic Convention will be held at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia July 25-28, 2016. Working in partnership with the Philadelphia Host Committee, the City of Philadelphia and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, our goal is to make this the most engaging, innovative and forward looking Convention in history. The 2016 Democratic National Convention will leverage technology to take the Convention experience well beyond the hall in an effort to engage more Americans than ever before in the event. With the birthplace of American Democracy as a backdrop, the 2016 convention in Philadelphia will highlight our shared Democratic values and help put the Democratic nominee on a path to victory.

The CEO for the 2016 Democratic National Convention is Reverend Leah D. Daughtry.

The DNCC will hold platform events in the following locations: Mid-Atlantic – Washington, DC on June 8 and 9 (forum with testimony); Southwest – Phoenix, Arizona on June 17 and 18 (forum with testimony); Midwest – St. Louis, Missouri on June 24 and 25 (drafting committee meeting); Southeast – Orlando, Florida on July 8 and 9 (platform committee meeting). Members of the public will be admitted to platform events on a first come, first served basis.

The official website of the 2016 Democratic National Convention is www.demconvention.com

In Upstate Ad, Pro-Fracking Clinton Promises To 'Stand Firm With New Yorkers Opposing Fracking'

Posted by Brad Johnson Tue, 19 Apr 2016 01:30:00 GMT

In an unannounced climate-change ad running in upstate New York, the Hillary Clinton campaign declares allegiance with the anti-fracking movement, despite the candidate’s support for fracking. With images of dirty rigs and anti-fracking protest signs, the narrator promises that a President Clinton will “stand firm with New Yorkers opposing fracking, giving communities the right to say no.”

Watch:

The ad’s characterization of Clinton’s stance on fracking is technically accurate, though misleading, as Clinton will cede localities control over fracking, while supporting natural gas as a ‘bridge fuel’. One could say that Clinton will “stand firm” with other states supporting fracking, such as Wyoming, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania. Clinton has not taken a position on the Constitution Pipeline, a controversial fracked-gas pipeline being constructed through upstate New York from Pennsylvania. Clinton is on record supporting “new natural gas pipeline investment.”

Her opponent, Bernie Sanders, unequivocally opposes fracking nationally.

The television ad also credits Clinton’s work at the failed Copenhagen climate talks for “laying the groundwork” for the Paris climate agreement. The ad confusingly displays a photo of Clinton at Copenhagen under a Washington Post headline about the Paris talks six years later.

The ad began running in upstate New York communities on Wednesday, April 13, six days before the April 19th primary. It has aired over 200 times cumulatively on Albany, Rochester, Syracuse, Watertown, Elmira, Binghamton, and Utica stations.

The ad was not announced to the press by the campaign, allowing it to avoid scrutiny by fact-checkers or the public. Following New York, the election heads to Pennsylvania, where fracking is allowed.

Transcript:

NARRATOR: China. India. Some of the world’s worst polluters. As secretary of state, Hillary Clinton forced them to the table, making real change by laying the groundwork for the historic global agreement to combat climate change.

As president, she’ll invest in a clean energy future, and the jobs that go with it. And stand firm with New Yorkers opposing fracking, giving communities the right to say no. Because our future depends on getting this right.

CLINTON: I’m Hillary Clinton, and I approve this message.

Hillary Clinton: "We're going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business."

Posted by Brad Johnson Mon, 14 Mar 2016 16:06:00 GMT

Clinton at town hallAt last night’s Democratic town hall in Columbus, Ohio, Hillary Clinton bluntly declared her intention to shut down the American coal industry in order to fight global warming pollution. Clinton went on to say that “we’ve got to move away from coal, and all the other fossil fuels.” Her declaration of war on the fossil-fuel industry was in the context of her plan to support job transitions into renewable energy and other sectors for the coal miners:

“I’m the only candidate which has a policy about how to bring economic opportunity — using clean, renewable energy as the key — into coal country. Because we’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business. And we’re going to make it clear that we don’t want to forget those people. Those people labored in those mines for generations, losing their health, often losing their lives, to turn our lights and power our factories. Now we’ve got to move away from coal, and all the other fossil fuels. But I don’t want to move away from the people who did their best to produce the energy we rely on.”

By stating that “we’ve got to move away” from all fossil fuels, Clinton recognized the first law of climate policy: global warming won’t end until we stop burning fossil fuels.

However, in this campaign she is promoting a long glide path towards that goal, which involves increased domestic and international fracking as a “bridge” to a zero-carbon pollution future. She has not set a date for such a transition; like her Democratic opponent, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, she has set a goal of an 80 percent reduction in domestic greenhouse pollution by 2050. Unlike Sanders she supports continued domestic production of fossil fuels for domestic use and for export, which threatens the climate goals set by President Barack Obama and her successor at the State Department, John Kerry.

Clinton misspoke when she claimed to be the “only candidate which has a policy about how to bring economic opportunity — using clean, renewable energy as the key — into coal country.” In fact, in December Sanders introduced legislation with that specific aim, the Clean Energy Worker Just Transition Act (S. 2398). The 2007 climate legislation introduced by Sanders and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and 2013 Boxer-Sanders climate legislation had similar provisions.

In fact, in 2007 Clinton co-sponsored a Sanders amendment which successfully allocated $100 million for green-collar job training and resources, including for displaced energy-industry workers.

Fracking-Fund Billionaire Marc Lasry is a Top Clinton Advisor and Fundraiser

Posted by Brad Johnson Tue, 01 Mar 2016 16:39:00 GMT

Marc Lasry and Hillary Clinton
Marc Lasry and Hillary Clinton
Wall Street hedge-fund billionaire Marc Lasry is one of Hillary Clinton’s biggest financial supporters, and has built deep family and financial ties between himself, Obama, and Clinton. Now he is betting on a Hillary Clinton presidency, while betting the retirements of public-school teachers on a fracking renaissance.

In 2014, Lasry, founder and chair of Avenue Capital Group, raised $1.3 billion for a fund that bought loans of distressed energy companies, only to watch the debt become even more worthless. $200 million raised for the Avenue Energy Opportunities Fund came from the Pennsylvania Public School Employees’ Retirement System. Lasry has shrugged off the losses, confident the good times will come again for the frackers.

“There’s going to be a huge turnaround on energy,” Lasry told reporters this January. The oil and gas slump has hurt exploration and production companies, but prices “will always come back. The question is, does it take six months or does it take three years?”

Meanwhile, Marc Lasry—a co-owner of the Milwaukee Bucks—has become a top contributor and bundler for the 2016 Hillary Clinton campaign. When Clinton announced her campaign, Lasry emailed his friends looking to quickly raise $270,000 with ten maxed-out contributions of $2700 each.

“It’s been a long time coming, and now there’s a huge amount of excitement behind her,” Lasry told Bloomberg News. “You will start seeing it in the numbers as people start donating.”

The exact amount of money bundled by Lasry has not been publicly disclosed; the Clinton campaign only discloses which bundlers have raised over $100,000.

She’s moving a little bit to the left, and I think that’s fine,” Lasry told Bloomberg in May 2015, after hosting one her first campaign fundraisers at his townhouse. “People who are giving money to her understand that. Obviously, some people have some issues. I think the vast majority won’t have issues.”

On February 12 of this year, Clinton came out in favor of new domestic natural-gas fracking and pipeline infrastructure.

Marc Lasry has deep financial and familial ties to the Clintons and Obamas.

Lasry’s daughter Samantha was a Congressional intern for Rahm Emanuel in 2005, the future chief of staff for Barack Obama. Meanwhile, Lasry donated to Rahm’s campaign.

In 2006, Marc Lasry hired Chelsea Clinton to work at his hedge fund, Avenue Capital Group, while Hillary Clinton was Senator of New York. Meanwhile, Lasry contributed to Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

Marc Lasry was a top contributor and bundler for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012. Meanwhile, Alexander Lasry, his son, was a special assistant to Valerie Jarrett in the Obama White House from 2010 to 2012.

In 2011, Marc Lasry and Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein invested in Eaglevale Partners, the hedge fund set up by Marc Mezvinsky, Chelsea Clinton’s husband. Lasry invested $1 million. The fund “underperformed.”

Oddly enough, Lasry was also one of Donald Trump’s top investors: he managed the bankruptcy buyout of Trump’s casinos in 2010. He then served as the chairman of Trump Entertainment Resorts, Inc. from 2011 to 2013, with a 22 percent stake and managerial control of the Trump Plaza, Trump Marina and Trump Taj Mahal casinos.

In the same interview this January where Lasry bet that the oil and gas industry would rise again, he expressed similar confidence about his chosen candidate.

“Hillary is going to be the next president of the United States.”

Bernie Sanders: 'Hillary Clinton Supports Fracking. I Do Not.'

Posted by Brad Johnson Fri, 26 Feb 2016 15:27:00 GMT

“Hillary Clinton supports fracking. I do not.”

These words appeared in a recent fundraising email from Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, which fiercely attacked fracking and Hillary Clinton’s support from and for the natural gas industry.

In blunt language, Sanders contrasted his call for a national moratorium on fracking against Clinton’s fundraising from natural gas investors:
Just days before the Iowa caucus, Hillary Clinton left the campaign trail for a high-dollar fundraiser at a hedge fund. That same hedge fund is a major investor in fracking, an incredibly destructive practice of extracting natural gas by pumping hundreds of secret chemicals into the ground.

Hillary Clinton supports fracking. I do not.

And just as I believe you can’t take on Wall Street while taking their money, I don’t believe you can take on climate change effectively while taking money from those who would profit off the destruction of the planet.

Sanders’ email comes on the heels of the Clinton campaign’s February 12th release of a policy promoting new natural-gas extraction and infrastructure. Clinton’s promotion of “safe and responsible natural gas production” (the phrase “safe and responsible” was used five times) was praised by LiUNA, a trade union that had vigorously supported the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.

“Domestically produced natural gas can play an important role in the transition to a clean energy economy,” Clinton’s policy position states, making no mention of the candidate’s February 4th pledge, caught on camera, to ban the extraction of fossil fuels, including natural gas, from public lands.

The conflict between Sanders and Clinton on natural gas is set to become a point of major political contention, as voters go to the polls next month in states overrun by fracking, including Oklahoma and Texas on March 1, Kansas and Nebraska on March 6, and Ohio on March 15. These states are reeling from the boom and bust of the fracking industry, left with earthquakes, degraded water supplies, and thousands of non-union workers exploited and poisoned by the private fracking companies Clinton’s donors have financed. Fights over natural-gas pipelines and facilities have mobilized activists in dozens of other states.

On a national scale, a growing body of scientific evidence is building that the climate benefits of switching from coal to natural gas were a total mirage, with the catastrophic Porter Ranch methane blowout the most visible and extreme example of a nationwide surge in methane leakage as a result of the domestic fracking boom promoted by the Bush and Obama administrations. Methane is a greenhouse gas that is 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide on a twenty-year timespan.

Read Sanders’ full email:

Sisters and Brothers -

Just days before the Iowa caucus, Hillary Clinton left the campaign trail for a high-dollar fundraiser at a hedge fund. That same hedge fund is a major investor in fracking, an incredibly destructive practice of extracting natural gas by pumping hundreds of secret chemicals into the ground.

Hillary Clinton supports fracking. I do not.

And just as I believe you can’t take on Wall Street while taking their money, I don’t believe you can take on climate change effectively while taking money from those who would profit off the destruction of the planet.

Please contribute to our campaign right now to help elect a president who isn’t beholden to special interests that profit off of pollution.

Dick Cheney pushed through changes to the Safe Drinking Water Act that legalized fracking, despite the fact that fracking companies keep the chemicals they pump into the ground a secret.

People who live near fracking locations no longer have drinkable water, and in some cases their tap water is actually flammable. Oklahoma has even seen a rash of earthquakes that many believe are a result of fracking.

In short, fracking is a disaster for the planet.

We need a president who is not beholden to special interests and who will do everything in his or her power to fight the effects of climate change. It’s clear that to elect that kind of president, millions of people need to come together and chip in whatever they can.

Make a contribution to our campaign now to send a message that you want to elect a president who will do everything possible to fight climate change.

We can’t afford to let people who would destroy our planet elect our next president.

Thank you for your support.

In solidarity,

Bernie Sanders

In Letter to Shareholders, Warren Buffett Mockingly Compares Global Warming to Y2K

Posted by Brad Johnson Mon, 22 Feb 2016 22:13:00 GMT

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett has dismissed the threat of global warming to Berkshire Hathaway, comparing it to the "dire" Y2K bug fear which caused only minor problems in a letter to investors opposing a shareholder resolution on climate. Athough Buffett admitted it is "highly likely" that climate change "poses a major problem for the planet," he concluded that "when you are thinking only as a shareholder of a major insurer, climate change should not be on your list of worries."

At the upcoming Berkshire Hathaway shareholders' meeting, the Nebraska Peace Foundation and Bold Nebraska are presenting a proposal calling for a report from Berkshire Hathaway's insurance division (which includes Geico) on the risks posed by climate change. The board, following Buffett's wishes, is opposing the proposed report.

Buffett's conglomerate is increasingly invested in the fossil-fuel industry, from his anti-community-solar NV Energy utility in Nevada to his railroad company BNSF, which profits heavily from oil-train and coal-train traffic.

Download the shareholder resolution and Buffett's opposition here.

The text of Buffett's letter is below:

It seems highly likely to me that climate change poses a major problem for the planet. I say "highly likely" rather than "certain" because I have no scientific aptitude and remember well the dire predictions of most "experts" about Y2K. It would be foolish, however, for me or anyone to demand 100% proof of huge forthcoming damage to the world, if that outcome seemed at all possible and if prompt action had even a small chance of thwarting the threat. If there is only a 1% chance the planet is heading toward a truly major disaster and delay means passing a point of no return, inaction now is foolhardy. Call this Noah's Law: If an ark may be essential for survival, begin building it today, no matter how cloudless the skies appear.

It's understandable that the sponsor of the proposal believes Berkshire is especially threatened by climate change because we are a huge insurer, covering all sorts of risks. The sponsor may worry that property losses will skyrocket because of weather changes. And such worries might, in fact, be warranted if we wrote ten- or twenty-year policies at fixed prices. But insurance policies are customarily written for one year and repriced annually to reflect changing exposures. Increase possibilities of loss translate promptly into increased premiums.

So far, climate change has not produced more frequent or more costly hurricanes or other weather-related events covered by insurance. As a consequence, U.S. super-cat rates have fallen steadily in recent years which is why we have backed away from that business. If super-cats become costlier and more frequent, the likely - though far from certain - effect on Bershire's insurance business would be to make it larger and more profitable.

As a citizen, you may understandably find climate change keeping you up at nights. As a homeowner in a low-lying area, you may wish to consider moving. But when you are thinking only as a shareholder of a major insurer, climate change should not be on your list of worries.

Bernie's Army: 2016's Class of Progressive Candidates

Posted by Brad Johnson Fri, 12 Feb 2016 23:17:00 GMT

The presidential campaign of Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is is calling for a “political revolution” to take control of our political system from moneyed interests. His campaign has been criticized repeatedly for offering an ambitious democratic-socialist agenda that would be blocked by a Republican-dominated Congress. Clinton’s less ambitious but still liberal plans will similarly face a stone wall of GOP opposition. As they might say, “Oh yeah? You and what army?”

Thus, the policy success of the Democratic candidates relies in large part on whether they are buoyed by wins down the ticket. The Clinton campaign and its supporters argue such down-ballot successes are a political impossibility.

However, as David Dayen noted in a recent article in The New Republic, a wave of progressive candidates – which he dubbed “Bernie’s Army” – is running for Congress. Below is a list of candidates who may deserve that label – candidates endorsed for progressive platforms, who have endorsed the Sanders presidential campaign.

Endorsements Local
Candidate Race Notes
Kim Foxx IL-Cook County State’s Atty DFA
Jennifer Boysko VA-HD-86 DFA
U.S. Senate
Candidate Race Notes
Alan Grayson FL-SEN BA
Rob Hogg IA-SEN CHV
Tom Fiegen IA-SEN EBS
Donna Edwards MD-SEN BA
PG Sittenfield OH-SEN BA
John Fetterman PA-SEN TNR EBS
Russ Feingold WI-SEN BA
U.S. House of Representatives
Candidate Race Notes
Raul Grijalva* AZ-03 EBS
Wendy Reed CA-23 EBS
Lou Vince CA-25 BA
Nanette Barragan CA-44 CHV BA
Bao Nguyen CA-46 EBS BA
Susannah Randolph FL-09 DFA
Tim Canova FL-23 EBS TNR running against DWS
Joseline Peña-Melnyk MD-04 DFA BA
Jamie Raskin MD-08 DFA CHV BA running against Chris Matthews’ wife
Paul Clements MI-06 BA
Pat Murphy IA-01 BA
Mike Noland IL-08 BA
Keith Ellison* MN-05 EBS
Carol Shea-Porter* NH-01 BA
Alex Law NJ-01 BA EBS
Peter Jacob NJ-07 EBS
Lucy Flores NV-04 EBS DFA TNR
Ruben Kihuen NV-04 BA
DuWayne Gregory NY-02 BA
Bill Perkins NY-13 EBS
Diana Hird NY-18 EBS
Eric Kingson NY-24 EBS BA
Zephyr Teachout NY-19 EBS DFA
Tom Guild OK-05 EBS
Shaughnessy Naughton PA-08 CHV
Angela Marx WA-03 EBS
Parmila Jayapal WA-07 EBS
Mike Manypenny WV-01 EBS

Incumbents are marked with an asterisk.

Clinton Goes to Pennsylvania to Reap Windfall from Pennsylvania Frackers

Posted by Brad Johnson Thu, 28 Jan 2016 16:34:00 GMT

Clinton enters the Franklin Square Capital Partners headquarters through a back entrance. Credit: Yong Kim
Last night, Hillary Clinton attended a gala fundraiser in Philadelphia at the headquarters of Franklin Square Capital Partners, a major investor in the fossil-fuel industry, particularly domestic fracking. The controversial fracking industry is particularly powerful in Pennsylvania, which will host the Democratic National Convention this July.

Clinton has avoided taking any clear stand on fracking. While she has embraced the Clean Power Plan, which assumes a strong increase in natural-gas power plants, she also supports a much deeper investment in solar electricity than the baseline plan. The pro-Clinton Super PAC Correct the Record, run by David Brock, touts Clinton’s aggressive pro-fracking record.

Numerous grassroots groups have risen to oppose the toxic fracking of Pennsylvania and its labor abuses, including Marcellus Protest, No Fracking Way, Pennsylvanians Against Fracking, Keep Tap Water Safe, Stop Fracking Now, and Stop the Frack Attack.

As reported by the Intercept’s Lee Fang, “One of Franklin Square Capital’s investment funds, the FS Energy & Power Fund” the Intercept’s Lee Fang reports, “is heavily invested in fossil fuel companies, including offshore oil drilling and fracking.” The company cautions that “changes to laws and increased regulation or restrictions on the use of hydraulic fracturing may adversely impact” the fund’s performance.

Through its fund, Franklin Square invests in private fracking and oil drilling companies across the nation, as well as Canada and the Gulf of Mexico. This includes heavy investment in Pennsylvania frackers.

Franklin Square companies in the Pennsylvania fracking industry

Bold indicates a company that runs fracking wells in Pennsylvania (Eclipse Resources is a Pennsylvania-based company with fracking operations in Ohio). The other companies listed are industry service companies with business in Pennsylvania, including pipelines, trucking, chemicals, and power plants. Murray Energy runs coal mining operations in Pennsylvania.

Tickets to the event ranged from $1,000 to $27,000. Contributors at the $2,700 level got a photo taken with Clinton, and the $27,000 contributors were afforded the opportunity to meet and hear Jon Bon Jovi perform an acoustic set.

Business Coalition Suggests Detailed Language for Paris Talks to Achieve Rapid Decarbonization

Posted by Brad Johnson Tue, 24 Nov 2015 13:35:00 GMT

The We Mean Business coalition of private-sector climate activists has released detailed recommended language for the upcoming climate negotiations in Paris. The report was prepared by BSR and DLA Piper for the coalition, which includes B-Team, Ceres, Carbon Disclosure Project, the Climate Group, the Prince of Wales Corporate Leader Group, and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. Funding was provided by the ClimateWorks, IKEA, and Thomson Reuters Foundations.

Corporate members on the board of We Mean Business include Starbucks, Nike, IKEA, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Kingfisher, Unilever, HP, Tata, CLP Power, and NEUW Ventures.

1. WMB Ask #1: Net zero greenhouse gas emissions well before the end of the century

Businesses and investors need a strong long-term goal in the Paris Agreement that sets a clear destination and time frame, and that operationalizes a global emissions pathway which holds warming below 2°C. This would provide the policy certainty and clarity needed to drive low carbon and climate resilient investment in the real economy. By providing long-term details in national decarbonization strategies to 2050, governments will increase business confidence in making multi-decadal low carbon capital investments.

Preferred Text

  • Article 2 (Purpose)
    “The purpose of this Agreement is to hold the increase in global average temperature below 2°C and preferably below 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels by ensuring deep cuts in global greenhouse gas emissions, and to achieve the global transformation to low carbon and climate resilient economies and societies.”
  • Article 3 (Mitigation)
    “To achieve the long-term temperature goal set out in Article 2 of this Agreement, Parties collectively aim to reach net zero global greenhouse gas emissions well before the end of this century.”
  • COP Decision
    “Strongly encourages Parties to formulate and communicate, by 2018, national decarbonization strategies to 2050, to facilitate the mobilization of climate finance and investment.”

2. WMB Ask #2: Strengthen commitments every 5 years

After COP21, from 2016 to 2020, businesses will unleash additional low carbon innovation and investment. Continuous improvement should apply not only to businesses but to governments as well. By strengthening their commitments every 5 years, starting in 2020, governments will keep pace with private sector innovation, stimulate increased private sector ambition, and progressively realize the transformation of the global economy.

Preferred Text

  • Article 3 (Mitigation)
    “Successive nationally determined commitments shall be communicated every 5 years.”

    “Each Party shall progressively strengthen the ambition of their successive nationally determined commitment every 5 years from 2020 onwards, informed by the global stocktake set out in Article 10 and by the best available science, until the ultimate objective of the UNFCCC and the objective of this Agreement are achieved.”

  • Article 10 (Global Stocktake)
    “The CMA shall, in 2024 and every 5 years thereafter, take stock of the implementation of this Agreement, to assess collective progress towards achieving the ultimate objective of the UNFCCC and the objective of this Agreement, in order to inform the formulation and communication of successive nationally determined commitments.”
  • COP Decision
    Requests all Parties to communicate an updated nationally determined commitment well in advance of the twenty-sixth session of the COP (by the first quarter of 2020 for those Parties ready to do so), with a view to enhancing the ambition of their nationally determined commitment.”

    Decides to convene a dialogue among Parties in 2019 to take stock of the collective efforts of all Parties, to inform the communication of their updated nationally determined commitments.”

3. WMB Ask #3: Enact meaningful carbon pricing

Carbon pricing is one of the key policy instruments needed to harness the power of business to tackle climate change. With the majority of INDCs either putting or considering a price on carbon, whether through carbon taxes or markets, the Paris Agreement should recognize their efforts and the merits of these approaches to driving emissions reductions. Over a thousand companies have reported using an internal carbon price or plan to do so, in anticipation of future regulation. A price on carbon incentivizes low carbon innovation, shifts investment towards low carbon technologies, and helps ensure sustained economic competitiveness. To be effective, carbon pricing needs to be adopted globally, to reach high enough levels to change investment decisions and behaviour towards lower carbon ones and to converge to avoid trade friction.

Preferred Text

  • Preamble
    Emphasizing that many Parties have already put a price on carbon, and that where the price is sufficient to drive lower carbon investment and behavior, this is an important, efficient, and cost-effective approach to achieving deep cuts in global greenhouse gas emissions.”
  • Article 3 (Mitigation)
    “The CMA shall further facilitate international cooperation between Parties in the implementation of mitigation activities.”

    “Parties shall ensure the environmental integrity of internationally transferred mitigation outcomes used towards the fulfillment of its nationally determined mitigation commitments. Internationally transferred mitigation outcomes must avoid double-counting and be real, permanent, additional and verified.”

  • COP decision
    Invites all Parties to consider further international cooperation in the implementation of nationally determined mitigation commitments.”

    Requests that the IPC commence a work programme to develop standardized accounting rules which ensure the environmental integrity of internationally transferred mitigation outcomes, with a view to the IPC making recommendations to the CMA at its first session.”

    Decides that the CMA shall, at its first session, adopt standardized accounting rules which ensure the environmental integrity of internationally transferred mitigation outcomes.”

  • NDCs
    Many submitted NDCs put a price on carbon, whether through carbon taxes or markets, and if through markets, anticipate potential links to other markets.

4. WMB Ask #4: New and additional climate finance at scale

The satisfaction of the Copenhagen pledge to mobilize $100 billion per year of climate finance in 2020 is key to an ambitious deal in Paris. But building the low carbon economy will take trillions – not billions – of dollars in climate finance. To shift these trillions, the Paris Agreement will need to improve the predictability of financial flows, improve domestic enabling environments to facilitate climate investment, and direct international support towards low emission and climate resilient investment.

Preferred Text

  • Article 6 (Finance)
    “Developed country Parties, and other Parties willing to do so, shall scale up the mobilization of climate finance from USD 100 billion per year from 2020.”

    “Parties shall improve the predictability of finance flows, including through the transparency system set out under Article 9.”

    “All Parties shall strive to improve domestic enabling environments, to encourage the mobilization of climate finance from a wide variety of sources, including public and private, bilateral and multilateral and alternative sources.”

    “Parties shall enhance international support for low emission and climate resilient investments, and reduce international support for high emission and maladaptive investments.”

  • COP Decision
    Decides that Parties shall, in accordance with their national circumstances, consult and cooperate to mobilize climate finance and investment, including partnering with other Parties and with the private sector.”

5. WMB Ask #5: Transparency and accountability to promote a race to the top

A strong transparency system under the Paris Agreement will reassure businesses and investors that all governments will be accountable for their commitments. By making collective progress towards a global 2°C trajectory clear, transparency will allow businesses to prepare for the climate impacts of projected warming. Shared accounting and reporting rules will prevent governments from gaming their commitments, which would distort the perceived risks of climate impacts.

Preferred Text

  • Article 9 (Transparency)
    “The purpose of the system for transparency of action is to:
    (a) provide the clearest possible understanding of the emissions and removals of individual Parties, and of global aggregate net emissions relative to the objective of this Agreement in Article 2, and the long-term mitigation goal in Article 3;
    (b) ensure clarity and tracking of progress made in implementing and achieving individual Parties’ nationally determined mitigation commitments;
    (c) provide a clear understanding of Parties’ progress in implementing adaptation actions…”

    “The purpose of the system for transparency of support is to:
    (a) ensure clarity on support provided and received by individual Parties;
    (b) provide a full overview of aggregate support provided, mobilized and received…”

    “In tracking progress towards achieving their nationally determined commitments, Parties shall apply the principles of transparency, accuracy, completeness, comparability and consistency according to rules adopted by the CMA at its first session.”
    “Each Party shall, subject to its respective capabilities, provide information at least biennially. This information shall be reviewed, subject to the Party’s respective capabilities, by an expert review team, which shall identify any issues related to facilitating implementation and compliance under Article 11.”

6. WMB Ask #6: National commitments at the highest end of ambition

An agreement with the broadest possible participation will address business concerns around maintaining competitiveness on a fair playing field. Broad and ambitious participation is also crucial to addressing climate change. Businesses will need to be confident that national commitments made by governments are more than words, and will be implemented. Countries joining the Paris Agreement should therefore commit to implementation and not merely communication of their national climate action plans.

Preferred Text

  • Article 3 (Mitigation)
    “Each Party shall regularly formulate and communicate a nationally determined mitigation commitment that it shall implement.”

    “Each Party’s successive nationally determined mitigation commitment shall be at that Party’s highest possible level of ambition as of the time of its formulation.”

  • NDCs
    The Paris Agreement is universal. Nearly all countries covering nearly all global greenhouse gas emissions submit nationally determined commitments for the Paris Agreement and becomes Parties to the Paris Agreement.

7. WMB Ask #7: Adaptation to build climate resilient economies and communities

Even if warming is held below 2°C, businesses will need to adapt to substantial climate impacts. By treating adaptation with the same political parity as mitigation, including with a long-term global vision on adaptation, the Paris Agreement will signal that all actors must build climate resilience while they reduce emissions. Business can play a constructive role in building this resilience not only within their own economic infrastructure, but also within the workforce, communities, and ecosystems on which they depend. Private sector consultation in national adaptation planning will help to facilitate this.

Preferred Text

  • Preamble
    Emphasizing that adaptation is a global challenge which must be addressed with the same urgency as mitigation.”
  • Article 4 (Adaptation)
    “Parties establish the long-term vision of increasing resilience and reducing vulnerability to climate change, recognizing that adaptation is a challenge faced by all, with local, national, regional and international dimensions, and impacts on all sectors, and that it is a key component of a contribution to the longer-term global response to climate change to protect people, livelihoods, ecosystems, and economies.”

    “Parties recognize that adaptation will be needed regardless of the level of mitigation reached and that the greater their mitigation efforts, the less adaptation will be needed.”

    “Each Party shall engage in a national adaptation planning process and enhance its adaptation plans, policies and actions…”

  • COP Decision
    Decides that the national adaptation plans, policies and actions referred to in Article 4 should be developed in consultation with relevant stakeholders including…the private sector/b>.”

8. WMB Ask #8 Pre-2020 ambition through Workstream 2

In the years 2016 to 2020, Workstream 2 under the Durban Platform can raise pre-2020 ambition by exploring and scaling up technical solutions to reduce emissions and build climate resilience. Two high-level champions will give this effort the political profile needed for success. An annual high-level event can build upon the many initiatives that have been launched under the Lima-Paris Action Agenda at COP21, and promote new efforts.

Preferred Text

  • COP Decision on Workstream 2, High-level Dialogue/Events
    Decides that two high-level champions, with relevant experience in leadership positions in government and the private sector, shall be appointed to facilitate the scale up and launch of new or strengthened efforts, voluntary initiatives and coalitions, through strengthened high-level engagement in the period 2016-2020, including by:
    (a) Working with the UNFCCC Executive Secretary and the current and incoming presidencies of the COP to coordinate an annual high-level event that provides an opportunity to announce new or strengthened efforts;
    (b) Engaging intensively with interested Parties and non-Party stakeholders, including the private sector; and
    (c) Providing guidance on the organization of the Technical Examination Processes.
  • COP Decision on Workstream 2, Mitigation
    Requests the appointment of co-facilitators to guide the Technical Examination Process on mitigation and, in consultation with Parties and high-level champions referred to below, to create a detailed work programme for 2016 and 2017 focused on scaling up implementation.”

    Encourages Parties, Convention bodies, international organizations and non-Party stakeholders, including the private sector, to engage actively and effectively in this process, to submit their experience and suggestions…to this process, and to cooperate in implementing the policies, practices and actions identified during this process…”

  • COP Decision on Workstream 2, Adaptation
    Decides to launch a second Technical Examination Process on adaptation in the period 2016-2020…with the meaningful participation of non-Party stakeholders, to enhance adaptation action and support, share best practices and address gaps in implementation, knowledge, finance, technology, planning and institutional capacity.”

Carol Browner E-Mail to LCV Members Announcing Hillary Clinton Endorsement

Posted by Brad Johnson Thu, 19 Nov 2015 03:37:00 GMT

The following is the text of the e-mail sent by the League of Conservation Voters on November 9, 2015, to members announcing the organization’s unprecedented early endorsement of Hillary Clinton.

Dear friend,

As a valued LCV member and fellow environmentalist, I’m eager to deliver an important announcement to you.

We are at a critical juncture for our climate, our environment, and our families’ future. Thirty-five years ago, I devoted my career and my life to fighting the most pressing issue of our time: climate change. Back then, I never could have imagined how far we would come — or the kind of outrageous opposition we would face. Opposition that some would argue has never been more challenging than it is now.

I’ve worked in several administrations to build solid environmental policy and progress — including serving as the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency from 1993 to 2001 under President Clinton and as the director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy under President Obama. I’m immensely proud of what we’ve accomplished over the past 20 years for clean air, clean water, and the health of our communities. And as President Obama continues to prioritize climate change through this year and next, I know we must continue that legacy into the next White House.

Today, as Chair of LCV’s Board, I’m honored to announce that the League of Conservation Voters Action Fund is endorsing Hillary Clinton to be the next President of the United States.

As an environmentalist and a woman, I feel the full gravity of what this election will mean. With your support, we will elect the first woman and a true environmental champion to the White House. Please know that LCV’s Board of Directors carefully considered each candidate, and I’m 100 percent confident telling you that Hillary Clinton is the best candidate for the job.

Here’s why:

  1. From Senator to Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton has made the environment and climate change a top priority. She has consistently championed clean water, clean air, and repealing Big Oil tax handouts to invest in clean energy.
  2. Hillary Clinton laid the groundwork for international climate agreements. With President Obama, she forged international commitments to reduce climate pollutants like carbon and methane.
  3. Hillary Clinton opposes dirty drilling and wants to break Big Oil’s chokehold on our country. She has publicly opposed the dirty and dangerous Keystone XL tar sands pipeline and drilling in the Arctic Ocean.
  4. We will achieve the clean energy future with Hillary Clinton. She has pledged that the U.S. will install more than 500 million solar panels by the end of her first term and generate enough renewable energy to power every home in America by 2027.

Hillary Clinton is a fighter — there’s no doubt about that. And as vicious as the opposition can get, we know that she has the fortitude and tenacity to take them on and come out on top.

The next president will be key in determining where we go from here — do we bow to Big Polluters who are destroying our planet, or do we give everything we’ve got to confront the climate crisis? We know that once Hillary Clinton is in the White House, she will continue her excellent environmental record and build upon President Obama’s work to make the U.S. a global leader in the fight against climate change.

Nonetheless, we can be sure that Hillary Clinton’s opponent next November will be downright dangerous. Not only will he or she lack a solid plan to fight climate change, he or she will also almost certainly deny the indisputable science that proves it’s happening.

We need your help to elect Hillary Clinton, a proven climate leader. Please support her campaign by donating to Hillary for America today through LCV Action Fund’s GiveGreen program. Every contribution goes straight to her campaign and lets her know that the environmental community supports her candidacy and urges her to continue to prioritize an environmental agenda. Please make a generous gift today.

We value your membership and all that you’ve done with LCV. Together, we can secure a strong environmental future.

Thank you,

Carol Browner
Board Chair
League of Conservation Voters

Paid for by the League of Conservation Voters Action Fund and authorized by Hillary for America.

Staying in touch via the League of Conservation Voters’ email list is the best way we have of keeping in regular contact with supporters like you across the country and letting you know about the ways you can take action to protect the environment. Click here to unsubscribe from our supporter list, but if you leave, it will be harder for you to stay involved with LCV and continue the work that you’ve been such a critical part of. LCV wins environmental policy fights and elections because of dedicated activists like you, and we’d love to hear your ideas. Send us any comments, criticisms, or feedback here, or just reply to this email! Thanks for your support.

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