U.S. re-emerges at international climate change talks

After eight years of denial and delay under the Bush Administration, the U.S. government is beginning to engage in international climate talks and staking out a leadership role - something many believe is essential to reaching a global accord on combating global warming.

At a gathering of United Nations delegates in Bonn, Germany on March 29, Todd Stern, the State Department’s new climate policy envoy signaled a strong shift toward action and leadership by pledging to move forward on U.S. initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“We want to make up for lost time, and we are seized with the urgency of the task before us,” Stern said.

Mr. Stern highlighted the Environmental Protection Agency’s recent steps forward in reducing heat-trapping pollution, as well as President Obama’s work to implement a domestic cap and trade program. Additionally, Mr. Stern told delegates the United States is committed to jump-starting clean energy development, supported by a “ten year, $150 billion investment program for clean energy research, development, and deployment to speed key technologies to market and make the mitigation effort easier for all countries in the coming decades.”

“Our government is finally moving on all fronts to tackle the threat of global warming,” noted David Moulton, The Wilderness Society’s Climate Change Policy Director. “This is a new day of opportunity and hope, and The Wilderness Society looks forward to assisting this administration to create a clean energy economy that enhances the health of our ecosystems and communities.”