Menendez Helps Craft Legislation Introduced To Support Global Climate Deal

Menendez Helps Craft Legislation Introduced To Support Global Climate Deal

Bill Supports U.S. Climate Finance Contribution

Washington - Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.), Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee and author of S. 1733, the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act, today introduced the International Climate Change Investment Act of 2009. This legislation addresses the global security risks of climate change and promotes our economic leadership and competitiveness by enhancing demand for American clean energy products. The Act strongly supports a global agreement at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change negotiations in Copenhagen, Denmark, later this month.

The legislation, which is co-sponsored by Foreign Relations Committee members Senators Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ted Kaufman (D-Del.), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), serves as the foundation for the United States' international financial commitment by supporting key elements of a global climate agreement: adaptation to climate change, deployment of clean energy technologies, and reduction of deforestation and forest degradation. These provisions are intended to be incorporated into comprehensive climate change legislation.

"As we approach the Copenhagen negotiations, this legislation demonstrates that the U.S. Senate is serious about supporting a global agreement to address climate change," said Sen. Kerry. "While America must lead this effort, we know it can't be done alone - that's why we are taking a strategic approach to addressing this issue. This legislation makes important investments in adaptation, clean energy deployment, and reducing deforestation - all critical elements of a global deal."

"Combating the effects of climate change is essential to our national and economic security, but it is a global problem that requires global action and coordination. As we draw closer to the start of talks in Copenhagen, I am pleased to join my colleagues in putting forward a bill that makes clear our expectations that any international agreement should contain strong verification and compliance mechanisms, along with a strong commitment to provide assistance for the developing world," said Sen. Cardin, who also serves on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

"Climate change and its devastating results know no borders, and neither should our efforts to combat them. From the loss of forests to the population migration resulting from severe weather patterns, the effects of climate change on the other side of the world have direct consequences for our own security and economy here at home," said Sen. Menendez. "This is a planetary emergency, and our climate change policy must reflect that. In working with Chairman Kerry to develop this legislation, I know that we have crafted a plan that can help put our nation in a position of international leadership in the fight against climate change, and that will benefit our prosperity, stability and security. A robust international climate program in the overall legislation, such as this, is also necessary to get agreement on an international climate treaty, which is vital for the same reasons."

"Climate change is a global issue that requires a concerted international response," said Sen. Kaufman. "The right solution will give us the opportunity to lead the world in green jobs and clean energy exports. I am pleased to join the Chairman and my colleagues on this legislation, which provides key elements of the United States' participation in an international agreement."

"I want to thank Chairman Kerry for his leadership on this most critical of issues," said Senator Gillibrand. "As the world community assembles in Copenhagen next week, it is critical that the United States be a leader in achieving global action to combat climate change. The legislation put forward by Chairman Kerry illustrates the United States' commitment to working with the world community to achieving success in preventing global climate change. I am thankful that Chairman Kerry included provisions of the legislation that recognize the important role of women in adapting to climate change in their communities, as well as language that identifies the potential risk that climate change poses to our national security."

The International Climate Change Investment Act of 2009 provides for a coordinated approach to addressing climate change around the world by:

• Establishing a "Strategic Interagency Board on International Climate Investment" to oversee multi-agency contributions to international climate finance;

• Establishing a detailed reporting and review system to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of assistance provided under this Act;

• Recognizing that the United States cannot act alone in a global effort to address climate change, requires the State Department to prepare a report to Congress summarizing the progress of rapidly industrializing countries in achieving low-carbon development;

• Authorizing funds to support key elements of the Bali Action Plan under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change:

- Reducing Emissions from Deforestation Program: Provides assistance to conserve existing forests, reduce rates of deforestation, and build capacity in developing countries to participate in global carbon markets. Sets goal of achieving emissions reductions by at least 720 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2020 and a cumulative amount of at least 6 billion tons of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2025.

- Clean Technology Deployment Program: Supports U.S. export markets by establishing a clean technology deployment program to advance clean energy technologies and reduce energy poverty in developing countries. Focuses on the role of the private sector by establishing an Expert Panel on Technology Deployment consisting of representatives of leading academic institutions, civil society, government agencies and business. Ensures that investments are made in countries that are taking domestic action to reduce emissions and have robust compliance and enforcement with requirements for the protection of intellectual property rights.

- International Adaptation and Global Security Program: Provides new and additional assistance to the most vulnerable developing countries to develop and implement climate change adaptation programs.

Attached are statements of support for the International Climate Change Investment Act of 2009. A copy of the bill can be found at http://www.kerry.senate.gov/.

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