The human-caused warming of our climate is the greatest environmental challenge facing our civilization. Studies suggest that global temperatures could rise by more than six degrees Celsius by the end of the century, which would have unprecedented and devastating effects- drought, more powerful storms, melting glaciers, sea level rise, flooding, mass extinctions, and ocean acidification, to name just a few. It is critical that we begin reducing the greenhouse gases responsible for climate change.
Passing a comprehensive bill to cap global warming pollution that will bring about a clean energy economy remains LCV's top priority. We worked hard to ensure passage of the American Clean Energy and Security Act in the House of Representatives in June 2009, taking the unprecedented step of withholding our endorsement from any member of Congress who did not vote for the bill. This landmark legislation, while not perfect, would stimulate the growth of green jobs, spur renewable energy development, lessen our dependence on oil, protect the planet, and help our country lead in the clean energy economy.
In December of 2009, the Obama Administration made the determination, based upon a thorough scientific review, that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases pose a danger to public health and welfare. This important finding, a result of the Supreme Court's 2007 decision in Massachusetts v. EPA, gives the Environmental Protection Agency the ability under the Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse gas emissions to protect Americans providing yet another tool to tackle climate change. There have been efforts to gut the Clean Air Act and obstruct the EPA's ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. We agree with the Administration's findings and have been fighting any and all attempts to delay or weaken EPA's authority to regulate emissions under the Clean Air Act, a landmark environmental law with a successful 40 year track record of saving lives and spurring technological innovation.
In addition, LCV remains engaged in international negotiations to establish a global climate treaty as a successor agreement to the Kyoto Protocol. While the Copenhagen Accord, reached in December 2009 at the historic gathering of world leaders, marks an important step forward; it is incomplete and leaves much work to be done to solve this global challenge. LCV is strongly committed to working with Congress and the Obama Administration to strengthen, pass and enact a comprehensive clean energy and climate bill in 2010.