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At UN Climate Change Conference, Labor-Environmental Alliance Urges Action at home and abroad on dangerous, costly consequences of climate change
Doha, Qatar (November 27, 2012) As world leaders gather for the 18th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference in Doha, Qatar, the BlueGreen Alliance today released a letter urging the United States to take a critical leadership role in advancing global climate change solutions and urged negotiators to take crucial steps forward in reaching an international agreement on a framework for action to reduce emissions, provide assistance for adapting to the impacts of a changing climate, and to ensure a just transition for working people during the move toward a cleaner economy.
“Climate change and its impacts are taking a toll on our communities and on our economy, from rising food prices to severe weather events that are costing lives and economic distress,” said David Foster, Executive Director of the BlueGreen Alliance. “We can no longer afford inaction, and the United States has a responsibility to lead the world to a solution.”
The letter outlines clear priorities for an international agreement, which included that countries establish a sound emissions reduction regime that keeps planetary warming below the 2-degrees Celsius threshold. In addition, the Alliance echoed its position that the United States make a commitment to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions to 85 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.
The letter also urged negotiators to recognize that climate solutions may have a negative impact on working people if not crafted and implemented mindfully. The BlueGreen Alliance insisted that a “Just Transition” be a key part of any global climate agreement to ensure a smooth transition for workers and communities. In addition, the BlueGreen Alliance urged support for the Green Climate Fund – which is set to finance adaptation and mitigation efforts in the developing world – and proceeding with National Adaptation Plans and further implementing actions that increase the resilience of countries to climate change.
Finally, the BlueGreen Alliance urged domestic action, including building on advances in vehicle technology, finalizing proposed standards for carbon emissions for new power plants, establishing a properly crafted carbon standard for existing power plants, and extending clean energy tax incentives.
“Combatting a changing climate is a moral, economic and environmental imperative,” continued Foster. “We can and must transition to a cleaner economy, avoiding the worst impacts of a changing climate and setting the stage for a smooth transition – for workers and for our economy – to a cleaner, more prosperous future.”