Historic house climate bill passes first test, more resources still needed for hardest hit

By Oxfam

Washington, DC — International development organization Oxfam America praised members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee for passing the American Clean Energy and Security Act (H.R. 2454), but urged for the international provisions of the bill to be strengthened in order to enable President Obama to lead negotiations for a global climate deal in Copenhagen this December.

The bill is historic as it commits to curbing global warming pollution, puts our nation and others on a clean energy development pathway, and addresses and finances the needs of vulnerable communities both at home and abroad who are on the front lines of climate change.

"Getting the Waxman-Markey bill out of the Energy and Commerce Committee is a history-making effort in enacting US climate and clean energy legislation," said Jim Lyons, vice-president of Oxfam America. "But while this bill is a giant leap in US climate change legislation, it is too small of a step towards what's needed for a global climate deal in Copenhagen this December."

Last minute attempts to eliminate important international provisions in the bill were rejected. If passed, these amendments would have seriously undermined the United States' leadership role in the international climate negotiations and would have shortchanged significant business opportunities abroad for America companies.

"Poor countries didn't create the problem, but they have to deal with the consequences. It's in America's best interest to help the most vulnerable adapt to global warming's consequences and cooperate with them to pursue clean energy pathways," said Lyons.

"Developing countries have made it crystal clear that without real cooperation and resources, there won't be a global climate deal," said Lyons. "A substantial increase in resources for the most vulnerable countries will be essential for the President to strike a global climate deal."

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