WASHINGTON, DC — In reaction to today's introduction of the climate change legislation discussion bill, "The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009," by Representative Waxman (D-CA) and Representative Markey (D-MA), Raymond C. Offenheiser, president of international development organization Oxfam America, made the following statement:
"We applaud the efforts of Representatives Waxman and Markey in furthering the President's call for action on climate at this crucial time in the fight against global warming. By outlining a long-term vision of a greener and more climate-resilient world, this draft legislation provides a framework for historical congressional action on climate change.
"We are especially encouraged that the bill addresses the key goal of helping poor people – here and abroad – adapt to the unavoidable consequences of climate change, and we will work with Congress to ensure that substantial and adequate resources will be dedicated to this objective as the debate progresses. While least responsible for causing climate change, poor people bear the brunt of its impacts. Supporting community resilience for those most vulnerable and hardest hit must be a cornerstone of any American effort on climate change.
"By putting in place a pathway toward a clean energy future in the US and globally, and by mobilizing the resources for innovative, people-focused adaptation solutions, this legislative proposal can help generate the kinds of business and job opportunities critically needed to rebuild our nation's economy.
"Momentum is building toward the international negotiations to achieve a global climate agreement in Copenhagen this December. As the US begins to reengage in the negotiations this week in Bonn, this bill's recognition of international efforts to reduce emissions and adapt to climate impacts sends the signal that the United States is ready and willing to be back at the table.
"While the bill sets us on the right course for long-term emissions reductions, we have an obligation to the rest of the world to make even deeper near-term cuts in domestic emissions than called for in this draft.
"We look forward to working with Representatives Waxman and Markey and all members of the Energy and Commerce Committee to pass a strong climate bill that makes deep cuts in dangerous greenhouse gas emissions, transforms our economy, and helps poor and vulnerable communities cope with the negative impacts of global warming."