FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
DATE: February 12, 2003
Ansje Miller (510-444-3041, ext. 315)
OAKLAND, Calif.-- The Environmental Justice and Climate Change Initiative finds that the climate change policy outlined today by President Bush violates key Principles of Just Climate Change Policy (for all 10 Principles, see www.ejcc.org). Representatives from communities most affected by global warming blast the Bush Administration's latest attempt to disguise action on this pressing issue.
"The President's voluntary plan flies in the face of the first and most important principle of just climate policy: it will not stop cooking the planet," said EJCC co-chair Dr. Beverly Wright, who also directs the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice at Xavier University in New Orleans. "During the 1990s, the United States has adopted a number of voluntary approaches to global warming that have led to an increase in greenhouse gas emissions of 14 percent between 1990 and 2000."
Even if companies do meet the agreed upon "intensity targets" for emissions, overall emissions would still increase. In fact, the Administration's target of reducing greenhouse gas intensity by 18 percent over the next decade will result in an additional 13-14 percent increase in emissions.
The Administration's climate plan announced today also defies the fourth principle of just climate change policy, requiring community participation. "Voluntary agreements between government and business exclude the people who are affected by those agreements," said EJCC co-chair and Southwest Network for Economic and Environmental Justice representative Ruben Solis. "In a democracy, people should have a say in the decisions that affect their lives. By moving the decision making process into the elite world of CEO's and lobbyists for industries, our communities lose."
"The United States, to our detriment, has once again refused to take the lead on climate change. We are the greatest emitter of greenhouse gases, but we don't appear willing to reduce our contribution to the problem," said EJCC member Tom Goldtooth, director of the Indigenous Environmental Network. "It will lead to greater national security risks, more dependency on foreign energy sources, and increased health and economic hardships having a disproportionate impact on low-income households, communities of color, and Indigenous Peoples."