Statement: Senate Vote Supporting Mandatory Climate Action

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

June 6, 2008

The vote, while only procedural, shows growing support in the Senate for mandatory climate action and, in particular, GHG cap and trade. Forty-eight Senators voted in favor, including several who had not previously supported climate action. Six more who were absent said they would have voted yes if present ­- including the presumptive Democratic and Republican presidential nominees.

This week's debate showed that the terms of debate have shifted. Apart from a couple of remaining skeptics, there was no challenge to the broad scientific consensus on climate change. The Senate is now debating the best means ­- and the cost ­­- of reducing emissions. These are extraordinarily complex issues and it will take many more hours of debate before Congress works through them. But this is the right debate and it's now well under way.


Click here to read our June 6 summary putting the Senate vote in context.