Scientists have long identified a temperature increase of 2 degrees C as the tipping point for runaway climate change. Now an impressive group of 47 climate organizations have written to President Obama to see if he supports a goal of keeping warming "as far below 2 degrees C as possible." The 2-degree goal was in Obama's campaign plan and it was in the Sanders-Boxer bill, to which Obama was a co-sponsor in the Senate. But the Obama administration, including its lead climate negotiator, Todd Stern, have not yet up signed on to the 2 degree goal.
The letter reads, in part:
Our landmark U.S. environmental laws are founded on the best science and the pragmatic goal of designing policies that are capable of solving the problem. The goal of the Clean Water Act is for all waters to be fishable and swimmable. The goal of the Clean Air Act is to promote the public health and welfare and requires our regulations to "accurately reflect the latest scientific knowledge." Our domestic global warming policies, as well as the international agreements we sign, should be aimed at protecting our population and broader national interests, as well as protecting the world's most vulnerable communities from the worst impacts of climate change. Staying below the 2Â°C/3.6Â°F target is a key guide post to measure our efforts to tackle global warming pollution. While the laws and regulations on the books may not always achieve these goals as quickly or as completely as we might hope, this guide post will keep us vigilant in reviewing and renewing our efforts.
The places to make this commitment are many. The recent Major Economies Forum would have been an ideal place, as will be next week's G8 conference in Italy. Such a commitment would be viewed by other nations as a strong show of faith that the US is serious abut tackling climate change--much more serious then the recent Waxman-Markey bill would indicate.
You can find the letter here
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