Engaged in Addressing Climate Change

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Thursday, December 8, 2005

The Dec. 2 editorial "The Climate in Montreal" asserted that the Bush administration is "on the sidelines" in addressing global climate change. Our actions on climate change offer a constructive and effective approach that fosters comprehensive domestic programs and international partnerships to develop and deploy clean energy technologies that reduce greenhouse gases.

Contrary to The Post's assertion that "only a handful of businesses have bothered to adopt" emissions reduction and technology investments, we have in place more than 60 mandatory, incentive-based and voluntary federal programs.

The Environmental Protection Agency's Climate Leaders Program has enlisted aggressive action from 70 sector-leading corporations since 2002. The Energy Department's Climate VISION Program -- Voluntary Innovative Sector Initiatives: Opportunities Now -- includes programs of action from hundreds of businesses in 15 major industrial sectors that account for 40 to 45 percent of greenhouse gases.

Internationally, the United States is engaging with more than 20 countries and hundreds of private-sector leaders on more than 400 initiatives.

Domestically, the new energy law offers $11 billion in tax incentives to accelerate the development and deployment of key technologies that will achieve substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

The United States was fifth-best among its allies in reducing greenhouse gas emissions -- 0.8 percent between 2000 and 2003, from 6,953 million metric tons in 2000 to 6,900 million metric tons in 2003. The administration's focus on reducing these emissions with sensible, cost-effective steps is yielding results.

JAMES L. CONNAUGHTON

Chairman

Council on Environmental Quality

The White House

Washington


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