I have so much anxiety in my stomach right now! Greenpeace US has been pouring 75% of our budget into our global warming campaign for the past 4 years trying to get a bill passed to re-engage the US in a strong climate agreements this December in Copenhagen, and now, on the brink of a huge Congressional decision, we could be facing the worst news yet: a Waxman-Markey bill that was once promising now so watered down from Coal industry lobbyists we have to oppose it.  And there is no way we can get another bill out in time, before Copenhagen….

The Science:

* Sciences says we need 25-40% below 1990, which is roughly 35% below current levels.

* The initial bill proposed a target of 7.7% below 1990 (20% below 2005), plus additional measures such as international forest funding that would get overall reductions in the range of 19-20% below 1990. The substantial offsets in the initial bill seriously undercut these targets, and would have led to no real emission reductions until 2026.

* The target has been further weakened in the new draft to 17% below 2005, which represents less than 4% below 1990 levels. This is far weaker than science and the international community demands and it will not lead to a strong agreement in Copenhagen.

* The massive giveaways to the coal industry in the CCS provisions, already a serious concern for GP and many other groups, have been expanded even further, encouraging the construction of “capture ready” CCS plants that will lock in dirty coal power (and the centralized transmission system needed to support it) for another generation.

* The combination of the offsets, the massive giveaways of emission allowances and outright cash to polluting industries, and the weakening of the RES will undermine the market signals necessary to spur the needed transition away from dirty energy and impair the development of renewables.

The Global Politics:

* Ironically, the bill was weakened even as Sir Nicholas Stern told the EC today that US targets are completely inadequate to achieve the goals of Copenhagen, and IPCC Chief Pachauri said the only glimmer of hope was the somewhat stronger legislation working its way through Congress.

* It also comes as World Bank economists release a new study showing that increased storm surges caused by global warming will expose 52 million people worldwide to the risk of catastrophic storm floods and create $122 billion in losses to developing country GDPs.

“We are extremely troubled by the reports coming out of the Energy and Commerce Committee last night on additional compromises to the already flawed American Clean Energy & Security Act. The world needs real leadership from Congress and the Administration to address global warming – action that will enable us to transform our economy with clean, renewable energy technology, new green jobs and show leadership internationally. If reports are true, the compromises being struck on the bill undermine these goals.” — Joint Statement from Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, and Public Citizen on the House Energy and Commerce Committee Climate and Energy Bill