The science is clear. Virtually all climate experts agree that we must reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by the year 2050. If we fail, the worst consequences of climate change threaten to increase the severity of health epidemics, disrupt harvest patterns, deplete water resources, and intensify poverty rates in the poorest regions of the world.
On this Earth Day we cannot let the current global economic recession slow us in the race against climate change. There is tremendous opportunity to solve both our environmental and our economic challenges through investment in green jobs and projects that increase energy efficiency and lower utility bills and transportation bills.
My foundation's climate initiative is focusing on bringing these kinds of solutions to life in cities, which generate more than 2/3 of the world's greenhouse gas emissions. We've brought together mayors from some of the some of the world's largest cities to reduce their emissions and we're exploring opportunities for retrofits for more than 500 million square feet of building space.
Earlier this month we announced that the Empire State Building would be among the buildings increasing its energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 40 percent. In addition to our work with the cities we're developing projects that will increase the use of clean energy on a significant scale, and we're working with countries to measure and value the forests they have to address deforestation.
But, we all must do more and we must act swiftly. We need a concentrated effort from all sectors—government, NGOs, businesses, and citizens to move from where we are to where we need to be to protect our planet for our children and our grandchildren.
—President Bill Clinton, in a Clinton Foundation video blog on April 22, 2009
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