Integral Ecology | Mon, Nov 19, 2012
The Ecology and Development Project has signed on to a letter from sixteen CEOs and senior staff of environmental, development, and faith-based NGOs.. The letter calls on the Obama Administration to recommit to the Global Climate Change Initiative and international climate finance at the upcoming climate change negotiations in Doha.
The text of the letter is as follows:
The Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
United States Department of State
Harry S. Truman Building
2201 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20520
The Honorable Tim Geithner
Secretary of the Treasury
United States Department of the Treasury
1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20220
The Honorable Rajiv Shah, Administrator
United States Agency for International Development
Ronald Reagan Building
1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20523
The Honorable Thomas E. Donilon
National Security Advisor
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500
November 14, 2012
Dear Secretary Clinton, Secretary Geithner, Administrator Shah, and National Security Advisor Donilon:
As you look toward the second term of the Obama Administration, the upcoming United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) summit in Doha, Qatar represents an important opportunity for the administration to demonstrate a serious commitment to tackling climate change globally. We are writing to urge you to use this moment to offer a clearly-stated vision of how the U.S. government can address our gravest needs at the intersection of climate change and international development and achieve ambitious and just climate outcomes.
The impacts of climate change are happening more quickly than predicted. The effects of “Superstorm” Sandy starkly demonstrated the severe impacts that we will increasingly face due to a changing climate, and this past summer more than half of U.S. counties received disaster designations due to the effects of climate-related drought and fire. But the impacts of climate change are hardly limited to the United States alone. Africa has seen the average number of weather-related natural disasters more than double in the last decade, including the worst drought the Horn of Africa has seen in 60 years. Climate change will increasingly drive extreme weather shocks that will cause dramatic spikes in future global food prices, exacerbating food insecurity for the world’s most vulnerable people.1
Ambitious and urgent action by the United States to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to help poor countries and communities adapt to climate impacts, protect forests and oceans, and embark on clean development pathways is both a moral imperative and in our national interest. Such action is essential to maintain global stability, protect U.S. investments in global development, create economic opportunities for American businesses and workers, and build resilience in communities that rely on natural resources and the environment for their survival.
In our current fiscal environment, supporting international climate programs makes sound economic sense. Investing in climate change programs reaps benefits that underpin broader development goals: investing $1 in climate adaptation can create up to $3 in benefits for communities.2 Further, there are significant job growth opportunities in reducing global emissions. The United States could create 280,000 to 850,000 new jobs if just 14% of clean energy technologies in developing countries came from the United States.3
At the upcoming negotiations, we urge the administration to:
- publicly reaffirm a clear commitment by the President to the Global Climate Change Initiative, which would also include the following actions:
- commit to maintain at least the current levels of U.S. public climate finance in the near-term and set a clear trajectory for ramping up U.S. finance between now and 2020 for bilateral and multilateral programs, including efforts to create an effective Green Climate Fund;
- support innovative approaches to generate new and additional public finance to help developing countries confront the climate crisis, such as mechanisms in the shipping and aviation sectors that can generate climate finance and reduce emissions, a financial transaction tax, and other measures; and
- make a renewed commitment to strengthened U.S. climate change programs, and to efforts to ensure that all U.S. development and conservation efforts are climate-resilient. The integration of climate change throughout the United States’ development assistance portfolio is critical to long-term sustainability, and should be properly resourced.
The Global Climate Change Initiative should be part of a whole-of-government approach to tackling climate change that includes robust action to reduce domestic greenhouse gas emissions in the United States.
The 18th UNFCCC Conference of the Parties provides an important opportunity to lay out a plan for U.S. leadership on climate change. As President Obama said on election night, “We want our children to live in an America…that isn’t threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet.” We look forward to working with you to advance effective and equitable solutions to the global climate crisis, and to build support for transparent, accountable, and coordinated climate change responses. We are committed to doing our part to support a transition to a climate-resilient, clean energy economy that decreases carbon pollution, creates jobs and empowers vulnerable communities in the face of a rapidly changing climate.
Peter Bahouth Executive Director US Climate Action Network
Rev. Jim Ball, Ph.D. Executive Vice President for Policy Evangelical Environmental Network
Natural Resources Defense Council
Interim Country Director
Suzanne Ehlers President Population Action International
Helene Gayle President and CEO CARE USA
Ginette Hemley Senior Vice President, Conservation Strategy and Science World Wildlife Fund US
James E. Hug, S.J. President Center of Concern
Union of Concerned Scientists
Reverend John L. McCullough President and CEO Church World Service
Raymond C. Offenheiser President Oxfam America
Erich Pica President Friends of the Earth U.S.
Friends Committee on National Legislation
President and CEO
National Wildlife Federation
Bill Snape Senior Counsel Center for Biological Diversity
cc: Todd Stern, Special Envoy for Climate Change
Gilbert Metcalf, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Environment and Energy, Department of Treasury
Kit Batten, Global Climate Change Coordinator, United States Agency for International Development
Michael Froman, Deputy National Security Advisor, The White House
Peter Ogden, Director for Environment and Climate Change, National Security Staff, The White House