is the president and CEO of The Nature Conservancy. Previously, he was a managing director at Goldman Sachs, where he headed the firm’s Center for Environmental Markets and its Environmental Strategy Group.
The Nature Conservancy and its fellow members of The U.S. Climate Action Partnership (USCAP) has unveiled a comprehensive and detailed set of integrated policy recommendations for developing legislation that would create an environmentally effective and economically sustainable national climate protection program.
The landmark document – titled A Blueprint for Legislative Action – echoes the sense of urgency that President-elect Obama has articulated regarding the need for a cap on greenhouse gas emissions.
"If this diverse group of energy, manufacturing, and environmental groups can agree on a blueprint to stop climate change – you know collaboration between Congress and the Administration is possible,” said Mark Tercek, CEO of The Nature Conservancy. “The world's current financial situation coupled with the growing urgency of climate change calls us to a new green economy. It is possible to reduce emissions, grow our economy and safeguard our forests and natural resources. This Blueprint offers our government leaders a roadmap for how that can be done.
Developed through two years of intensive analysis and consensus-building among 26 corporations and five environmental organizations, the Blueprint offers policymakers a clear path forward endorsed by a coalition representing a broad swath of the economy and diverse environmental interests.
USCAP believes that strong climate legislation is a critical element of any effort to stimulate investment and innovation in low-carbon technologies. The Blueprint provides specific guidelines for the Administration and Congress to enact legislation that both protects the environment and facilitates the necessary transition to a vibrant, low-carbon economy. That includes reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent of 2005 levels by 2050 through an economy-wide cap-and-trade program.
The Blueprint details steps for creating a mandatory, economy-wide cap-and-trade program, coupled with cost containment measures and complementary policies addressing a federal technology research development and deployment program, coal technology, transportation, and building and energy efficiency.
The Blueprint also recognizes the critical role conservation plays in a global warming solution. The Blueprint provides the incentives needed to make forests a powerful tool against climate change.
And the Blueprint recognizes that our ecosystems are already suffering the devastating impacts of climate change. It calls for us to take proactive steps now to safeguard the natural resources that we and future generations depend upon for survival.
Expanding significantly on USCAP’s 2007 groundbreaking Call for Action, the Blueprint includes an aggressive emission reduction schedule, further details on the scope of coverage for the cap-and-trade program, and recommendations for how to include as much of the U.S. economy under the cap as administratively and politically feasible.
Highlights from the Blueprint include:
August 31, 2011
A summary overview of the Blueprint for Legislative Action as well as the full text of USCAP’s recommendations are available online at www.us-cap.org.