President Obama's Budget: a Clear To-Do list for Congressional Action on Climate Change

2/1/2010

Washington, DC – Earlier today, President Obama sent his 2011 budget blueprint to Congress, laying out his top priorities for the fiscal year that starts this October. Much has been reported about the budget’s call to eliminate federal tax breaks for fossil fuels, invest in clean energy, and cut or freeze discretionary spending, but the budget also provides for the protection of natural resources to mitigate climate change, a move praised by Conservation International. 

Peter Seligmann, Chairman and CEO of Conservation International, said today “I commend President Obama for recognizing the urgency of public investment to combat global climate change as an important pillar of the nation’s 2011 budget.  By increasing funds for clean energy development, adaptation to climate change, and protection of natural resources Americans count on for their health and wellbeing, such as carbon-absorbing tropical forests and healthy oceans, President Obama’s budget lays out a bold to-do list for lawmakers. It’s a plan which has the potential to save American jobs, move us toward clean energy, contribute to a healthier environment, and protect our security. Without this leadership and investment, climate change may well threaten people’s access to food and water in some of the world’s poorest regions which in turn could lead to global conflicts, destabilized governments, and increased threats to America’s national security according to analysis by our own Department of Defense.

“The funding in this budget represents a positive first step, however the scale of the challenge can only be met with greater investment and cooperation from both the public and private sectors. President Obama has put the ball squarely in the U.S. Senate’s court to take that next step and now pass a comprehensive climate and energy bill that recognizes the importance of protecting natural resources as a mandatory tool to combat climate change. Such a bill is already before the Senate. I strongly encourage Senators to follow his leadership and embrace it.”

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Conservation International (CI)
Building upon a strong foundation of science, partnership and field demonstration, CI empowers societies to responsibly and sustainably care for nature for the well-being of humanity. With headquarters in the greater Washington, D.C. area, CI works in more than 40 countries on four continents. For more information about CI, visit www.conservation.org

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