Summary Overview: USCAP Blueprint for Legislative Action

On January 15, 2009, the US Climate Action Partnership (USCAP) issued the Blueprint for Legislative Action – a detailed framework for legislation to address climate change.

The Blueprint represents two years of work by USCAP members building on our January 2007 Call for Action, a groundbreaking report containing principles and recommendations that urged “prompt enactment of national legislation in the United States to slow, stop and reverse the growth of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions over the shortest time reasonably achievable.”

The Blueprint is a direct response to requests by federal policymakers for a detailed consensus that could help inform legislation. While USCAP is a diverse organization, it does not include all stakeholders and we acknowledge that the Blueprint is not the only possible path forward. However, we believe the integrated package of policies we are recommending provides a pragmatic pathway to achieve aggressive environmental goals in a responsible and economically sustainable manner.

The United States faces an urgent need to reinvigorate our nation’s economy, enhance energy security and take meaningful action to slow, stop and reverse GHG emissions to address climate change.

USCAP agrees that the science is sufficiently clear to justify prompt action to protect our environment. Each year of delayed action to control emissions increases the risk of unavoidable consequences that could necessitate even steeper reductions in the future, with potentially greater economic cost and social disruption.

To address these challenges successfully will require a fundamental shift in the way energy is produced, delivered and consumed in the US and around the globe. Thoughtful, comprehensive and tightly linked national energy and climate policy will help secure our economic prosperity and provide American businesses and the nation’s workforce with the opportunity to innovate and succeed.

While we recognize that achieving the needed emission reductions is not free of costs, we also believe well‐crafted legislation can spur innovation in new technologies, help to create jobs, and increase investment and provide a foundation for a vibrant, low‐carbon economy.