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For Immediate Release, November 25, 2009

Contact: Bill Snape, Center for Biological Diversity, (202) 536-9351,

Center for Biological Diversity Statement on President Obama's Announcement on Copenhagen

WASHINGTON— The Center for Biological Diversity issued the following statement today from Executive Director Kierán Suckling responding to the news that President Obama will attend the United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Copenhagen and propose emissions-reduction targets in the range of 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020.

“It’s good that President Obama plans to attend the global climate-change conference in Copenhagen. But the United States has to do more than just show up. We need to lead the world on emissions-reduction targets, and the targets the President is pledging to take with him are far too weak to avoid climate catastrophe. 

“The President does not have to rely on the weak targets under debate in Congress: He already has an excellent, proven tool – the Clean Air Act – that can be deployed right away to dramatically, immediately reduce carbon pollution. We applaud President Obama’s strong language on climate change, both as a candidate and as President, and we urge him to translate that powerful language into powerful policy by using the comprehensive system of pollution control found in the Clean Air Act to negotiate an agreement that reduces greenhouse gas pollution to meet what science demands: no more than 350 parts per million. That means greenhouse gas emissions from the United States and other developed countries should be reduced by 45 percent below 1990 levels by 2020.

“The world's people, animals, and plants are relying on courageous leadership from the President to address the greatest threat we’ve ever faced to life on Earth.”


The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 240,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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