The Sierra Clubs Climate Recovery Agenda
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by Carl Pope |
By Carl PopeIn 2008, Americans chose change. New Energy for America trumped Drill, Baby, drill, marking a major change across the country.
By Carl Pope—In 2008, Americans chose change. “New Energy for America” trumped “Drill, Baby, drill,” marking a major change across the country.
Now that the celebrations are done, we must roll up our sleeves and get to work. Barack Obama’s top priority is investment in clean energy and energy efficiency in order to jumpstart our economy, create green jobs and make us more secure – and the Sierra Club’s Climate Recovery Agenda closely follows that priority. Energy is now a national priority, and it’s clear that the steps we need to take to help our economy recover will also help our climate recover.
An Agenda to Rebuild America
Fixing our economy, transforming our energy future, slowing and ultimately reversing climate change and its consequences will require a clear agenda and aggressive timetable that will allow us to repower, refuel and rebuild America.
The Sierra Club’s Climate Recovery Agenda will help our economy recover, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, cut carbon emissions 80% by 2050, and protect our natural heritage, communities and country from the consequences of global warming.
Putting our planet on the path to economic and climate recovery will require Congress, working with the Obama Administration, to:
· Invest $150-500 billion in clean energy to create millions of new, high-quality jobs.
· Reduce our dependence on oil by increasing vehicle fuel efficiency, increasing the use of alternative fuels, and deploying innovative transportation technology like plug-in hybrids.
· Move America to 100% renewable energy for electricity, and dramatically increase the efficiency of our buildings and homes.
· Tackle global climate change by establishing an economy-wide cap on carbon emissions. Ensure that carbon permits are auctioned.
· Take action that acknowledges the consequences global warming is already having and the need to protect vulnerable communities, wildlife and their habitat from drought, intense flooding, wildfires and the other changes we are already experiencing.
Congress’ first step working with the Obama administration should be serious investments in high-performance technologies and energy-productivity improvements that will create millions of immediate jobs. Public and private building energy upgrades, mass-transportation improvements and grid-modernization should also be part of any economic recovery package.
America can lead by example. By taking actions at home, we can provide leadership on the international stage to both work with and be competitive with other nations. This agenda will be hard work, but the good news is that these are proven ways to face our economic and environmental challenges—and the solutions help everyone.
Carl Pope serves as the Executive Director of the Sierra Club.
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