U.S. Members of International Climate Change Taskforce nd American Progress CEO Laud Calif. Gov. Schwarzenegger’s Proposal to Sharply Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Washington, D.C.

June 1, 2005


Megan Rabbitt

The U.S. members of the International Climate Change Task Force – convened last year to recommend initiatives to government policymakers worldwide – and the head of the Center for American Progress, which co-sponsored the Task Force, today expressed support for California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s executive order to sharply reduce greenhouse gas emissions over the next 50 years.

Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME); former Sen. Timothy E. Wirth, president of the United Nations Foundation; John Podesta, president and CEO of the Center for American Progress; and, Harvard University Professor John P. Holdren jointly issued the following statement:

“Every day it becomes more and more clear that a major shift in the world’s energy systems will be needed to prevent dangerous interference with the climate. United Kingdom Prime Minister Tony Blair has recognized that challenge, and is aiming his country toward a 60-percent reduction by 2050. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger now has shown similar vision through his establishment of aggressive emissions reduction targets and his mobilization of his cabinet to get the job done. We commend him for his leadership in California, the sixth largest economy in the world and America’s largest state. Governor Schwarzenegger’s commitment underscores the realization that we must take action now to address global climate change, which is already affecting our daily lives. His announcement, coupled with other emission-cutting pledges announced at the start of World Environment Day activities, show the need for even more significant responses beyond the Kyoto Protocol limits. California’s commitment joins the commitments made previously by some other smaller states, including Senator Snowe’s State of Maine, which in 2003 enacted legislation to reduce CO2 emissions to 1990 levels by 2010, 10 percent below 1990 levels by 2020, and by as much as 75—80 percent over the long term.

“With the convening of the world’s largest eight economies in July in Scotland and with Prime Minister Blair’s leadership and personal commitment, we have an opportunity to achieve greater progress in addressing global climate change. This is a major opportunity for the United States to reassert its leadership in working with other countries to seriously confront what is one of the largest challenges of the 21st Century.”

The task force report is available at: http://www.snowe.senate.gov/icctreport.htm

Preston Hartman
Sen. Olympia Snowe
(202) 224-8667

Ana Unruh Cohen
Center for American Progress
(202) 741 6252

United Nations Foundation
(202) 887-9040


The UN Foundation was created in 1998 with businessman and philanthropist Ted Turner’s historic $1 billion gift to support United Nations’ causes. The UN Foundation promotes a more peaceful, prosperous, and just world through the support of the UN. Through its grant making and by building new and innovative public-private partnerships, the UN Foundation acts to meet the most pressing health, humanitarian, socioeconomic, and environmental challenges of the 21st century.