The Skywriter

Obama's budget off-target on CO2


Obama's budget off-target on CO2

In general, the climate community has been thrilled with Obama lately. Tuesday night, he called on Congress to pass a climate bill, and later this week, he released a budget that takes revenue from a cap on carbon into account. For the most part we are thrilled and we will be working hard alongside the President to achieve a strong climate bill this year.

Unfortunately, one of the most important details of Obama's plan is not up to snuff: science-based targets for reducing carbon pollution.

According to GreenWire (h/t to Climate Progress):

Obama’s budget includes several principles on what the administration wants to see out of a cap-and-trade program, including emission targets that cut U.S. greenhouse gas levels 14 percent from 2005 levels by 2020.

This goal was set by the Obama campaign back in 2007, when current science was just beginning to make its way into the American political landscape. However, with international climate negotiations in Copenhagen just 9 short months away, we cannot afford to let our leaders repeat to out-dated targets that do not match the scale of the science.

Dr. Rajendra Pachauri Chair of the Nobel Prize-winning IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) agrees:

President-elect Obama's goal of reducing emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 falls short of the response needed by world leaders to meet the challenge of reducing emissions to levels that will actually spare us the worst effects of climate change.

President Obama, we're counting on you to take the best and most current science into account. We thank you for your groundbreaking leadership, but ask that you step it up on short term targets. We ask that you set a target "at a level that science says is necessary to curb global warming."

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