Statement: Nine Senators Issue Letter to Obama on Principles for Advancing an International Climate Agreement

-- On the occasion of the joint letter of Senators Specter, Levin, McCaskill, Hagan, Johnson, Stabenow, Brown, Begich and Klobuchar to President Obama. --

Statement of Eileen Claussen
President, Pew Center on Global Climate Change

December 3, 2009

The Pew Center commends Senator Specter and his eight Senate colleagues for their strong leadership in advancing the effort to address global climate change at home and abroad.

In their letter today to President Obama, the Senators strongly affirm the need for a binding international climate agreement ensuring that all major economies contribute their fair share to the global climate effort.  The Senators offer a realistic and sensible view of what that agreement must contain in order to protect the vital economic, environmental and security interests of the United States.  We fully agree, in particular, that a treaty must “include provisions to enable a clear determination of whether countries are complying with their international commitments.”

We also welcome the Senators’ call for the United States to “move forward with ambitious and comprehensive climate legislation” as it works toward achieving an effective international agreement. In enacting comprehensive energy and climate legislation, Congress will usher in a clean energy transition creating new opportunities for U.S. workers and firms, and will position the United States as a global leader in an effective global climate effort.

While we do not favor the use of unilateral border measures, we believe the Senators have articulated a clear and constructive path toward domestic climate legislation and a robust international agreement.  Their message comes at a critical moment, on the eve of the Copenhagen conference, and we urge the President to give it very careful consideration.


Pew Center Contact: Tom Steinfeldt, 703-516-4146