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Press Release of Senator Cantwell
Cantwell: Washingtonians Need Tools to Combat Local Effects of Climate Change
Cantwell Legislation Directs Federal Government to Develop Plan With Local and State Governments to Deal With Consequences of Climate Change
Tuesday, December 04,2007
WASHINGTON, DC – Tuesday, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), chair of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries and Coast Guard, hailed passage of the Climate Change Adaptation Act of 2007. This comprehensive legislation, introduced by Cantwell, recognizes that the impacts of global warming are already occurring and will continue for the next few decades even if we begin dramatically decreasing our greenhouse gas emissions today. The bill directs the federal government to create a comprehensive plan for dealing with the consequences of climate change, especially when working together with state and local governments.
“Our continued efforts to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels are a step in the right direction, but unfortunately, the effects on climate change are already being felt and continue to raise concerns,” said Cantwell. “We need to make sure federal officials have the right tools and information to plan for the impacts of climate change. This bill is not only sound environmental policy, is makes economic sense.”
The Committee also passed two other climate change bills – S. 1578, Senator Frank Lautenberg’s (D-NJ) ocean acidification bill, which Cantwell is a co-sponsor, and S. 2307, introduced by Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME), to improve the federal government’s climate research and information program.
Cantwell’s bill will require the President to develop a national strategy for addressing the impact that climate change will have on our natural resources. It will also specifically require the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to conduct vulnerability assessments on the impacts of climate change on coastal and ocean resources, and to prepare an adaptation plans for such resources.
The national plan on climate change adaptation called for in Cantwell’s bill would:
(1) identify existing Federal requirements, protocols and capabilities for addressing climate change impacts on Federally managed resources and actions;
(2) develop measures to improve such capabilities and the utilization of such capabilities;
(3) include guidance for integrating the consideration of the impacts of change impacts on Federally-managed resources and in Federal actions and policies, consistent with existing authorities;
(4) address vulnerabilities and priorities identified through the assessments carried out under the Global Change Research Act and this Act;
(5) establish a mechanism for the exchange of information related to addressing the impacts of climate change with, and provide technical assistance to, State and local governments and nongovernmental entities;
(6) recommend specific partnerships with State and local governments and nongovernmental entities to support and coordinate implementation of the plan;
(7) include implementation and funding strategies for short- and long-term actions that may be taken at the national, regional, State and local level; and
(8) establish a process to develop more detailed agency and department-specific plans.
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