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US Senators agree on a framework for a Climate Change Bill

world Updated: Dec 11, 2009 10:57 IST
PTI
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Sending encouraging signal to the rest of the world, a bipartisan group of powerful US Senators on Friday agreed on a framework for a climate change bill.

"It will also send a strong message to the world and to the world gathering at Copenhagen. That message is, the US Senate is committed to addressing this challenge, and the majority leader has committed us to do so early next spring," Senator John Kerry, Chairman of Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told reporters at a news conference in Washington.

"We support a strong international agreement with action from all countries paired with strong financial support to assist developing countries to adapt to the impacts of global change, reduce emissions from deforestation and transition to a low-carbon future," Kerry said releasing the framework, which was also been sent to President Barack Obama.

Kerry's remarks came at a time when 192 members of the UN's Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) are meeting in Copenhagen to discuss tackling climate change.

"Our framework embraces the President's and the House of Representatives' commitment to reduce emissions in the range of 17 per cent in the near term and at least 80 per cent by mid-century. This also reflects the agreement reached by the G-8 in Italy last summer," the Senator said.

Kerry said the framework embraces and encourages the use of all energy sources, including renewable, clean coal, natural gas and nuclear power.

"We also embrace significant energy initiatives --energy efficiency initiatives as a critical short-term opportunity to reduce our nation's energy dependence as well as household energy bills," he said.

Senator Joe Lieberman said the framework for action that they presented today is a starting point, not an end point. "But in my opinion, it does reflect some broadly held positions and hopes in the United States Senate."

"As we release this framework today for action here in United States Senate, that we not only reflect what we have heard from our colleagues in the Senate, but we send a message to the delegates gathered in Copenhagen that the movement for climate-change legislation in the United States Senate is alive and well and moving forward," Lieberman said.

"We made some other baseline decisions. My colleagues have talked about the targets, reduction of greenhouse gas pollution in the range of 17 per cent in the near term. Generally speaking, I think most of us feel that's 2020 and 80 per cent by 2053," he said.

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