From: Sustainable Energy Coalition
Published October 14, 2004 06:31 PM

Thirty Business And Environmental Groups Congratulate Russian President

Warn President Bush Of Negative Economic Consequences If U.S. Does Not Re-Engage World Community To Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions


WASHINGTON DC — In a letter sent today, 30 environmental and sustainable energy business organizations congratulated Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin for his decision to seek approval of the Kyoto Protocol by the Russian Parliament. In a second letter, the groups urged U.S. President George Bush to "follow the example set by President Putin and lead the way for the United States to re-engage the international community" in reducing the greenhouse gas emissions contributing to global climate change.


Spearheaded by the Sustainable Energy Coalition, the letters noted that Russian ratification of the Kyoto Protocol is "an important step towards addressing the worsening problem of climate change and stabilizing the production of global warming gases causing it." The groups further predicted that the decision, though "controversial," would "pay for itself many times over in both economic and environmental terms."


"With Russia's approval of the pact, the Kyoto Protocol will set in motion a


global system of carbon emissions trading which will almost certainly result in billions of dollars ($US) being invested by other countries in more energy-efficient industries in Russia. The Kyoto Protocol will also facilitate Russia's tapping its vast renewable energy potential and creating new industries to meet its future energy needs. The end result will be a cleaner environment for Russian citizens and a more energy-efficient and competitive Russian economy."


However, the U.S.'s "continued rejection of meaningful international involvement in the effort to address climate change is not only undermining the global environment but also risks great damage to the American economy," according to the letters' signers. "By not being a signatory, the United States now faces the very real possibility of putting itself at a serious competitive disadvantage in the world marketplace."


"Russia's now-likely approval of the Kyoto Protocol means that U.S. business will be cut out of the new carbon trading markets which have already been set up in London. Furthermore, carbon trading and incentives to install renewables and other clean technologies in the treaty will give companies in Europe and elsewhere a financial advantage in joint trading agreements with former Eastern bloc and developing countries."


"In addition, by giving industry, local authorities and consumers incentives to take action on climate change, Russia, Japan, the European Union and the other industrialized countries that have joined the protocol will set themselves on a path to greater economic efficiency. This will ultimately translate into foreign enterprises being significantly more competitive in the global marketplace."


Citing the growing evidence of climate change and the U.S.'s significant responsibility for it, the groups urged President Bush to "commit [the United States] to binding goals for the reduction of greenhouse gases. We believe that addressing climate change with policies and investments that favor increased energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies will not only help the environment but also create millions of new, high-quality domestic jobs and businesses. It will be a net win for the U.S. economy."


# # # # #


The Sustainable Energy Coalition is a coalition of 90 national and state business, consumer, environmental, and energy policy organizations which collectively represent several thousand companies and community-based groups. Founded in 1992, the Sustainable Energy Coalition works to promote increased use of renewable energy and energy-efficient technologies.


The full texts of, and lists of signers to, both letters follow. ==============================



SUSTAINABLE ENERGY COALITION
1612 "K" Street, N.W.; #202-A
Washington, DC 20006
202-293-2898, ext.201; fax: 202-293-5857
kbossong614@yahoo.com


October 14, 2004


President Vladimir Putin c/o Yuri V. Ushakov Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the U.S. Embassy of the Russian Federation 2650 Wisconsin Avenue, N.W. Washington, DC 20007


Dear President Putin:


The undersigned American business, environmental, consumer, and energy policy organizations are writing to congratulate you and the Russian government for its decision to recommend ratification of the Kyoto Protocol to limit and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.


By joining the majority of the world's nations which have already ratified or acceded to the treaty, you are taking an important step towards addressing the worsening problem of climate change and stabilizing the production of global warming gases causing it.


We realize that the decision to embrace the Kyoto Protocol is a controversial one which has been debated at length by many in your government due to concerns about its short- and long-term impacts on the Russian economy. We believe, though, your decision will pay for itself many times over in both economic and environmental terms.


With Russia's approval of the pact, the Kyoto Protocol will set in motion a global system of carbon emissions trading which will almost certainly result in billions of dollars ($US) being invested by other countries in more energy-efficient industries in Russia. The Kyoto Protocol will also facilitate Russia's tapping its vast renewable energy potential and creating new industries to meet its future energy needs. The end result will be a cleaner environment for Russian citizens and a more energy-efficient and competitive Russian economy.


We hope the leadership you are demonstrating, as well as the benefits that will accrue to Russia, serve as an example and an eye-opener to the American


President and the U.S. Congress. We further hope that the United States will now be persuaded to belatedly join the world community in the international effort to address the global problem of climate change.


Again, we congratulate you, the members of your government and the Russian people for your decision to move towards approval of the Kyoto Protocol.


Sincerely,
Alliance for Affordable Energy
American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy
American Wind Energy Association
Bob Lawrence & Associates
Cascade Associates
Chesapeake Climate Action Network
Clean Energy Partnership
Climate Protection Campaign
Climate Solutions
Earth Policy Institute
Energy Innovations
Environmental & Energy Study Institute
Environmental Media Services
Global Green USA
Independent Natural Resources, Inc.
Minnesotans for an Energy-Efficient Economy
National Environmental Trust
New Community Project
New Uses Council
North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association
Northwest Sustainable Energy for Economic Development
Nuclear Information and Resource Service
Potomac Resources, Inc.
Solar Energy Industries Association
The Stella Group Ltd.
SustainableBusiness.com
Union of Concerned Scientists
U.S. Public Interest Research Group
Vermont Energy Investment Corporation
WestStart-CALSTART


cc. Yuri V. Ushakov


===============================
SUSTAINABLE ENERGY COALITION
1612 "K" Street, N.W.; #202-A
Washington, DC 20006
202-293-2898, ext.201; fax: 202-293-5857
kbossong614@yahoo.com


October 14, 2004
President George Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20500


Dear President Bush:


We, the undersigned consumer, environmental, business, and energy policy organizations, are urging you to reevaluate your position vis-à-vis international efforts to address climate change in light of the recent decision by the Russian government to recommend approval of the Kyoto Protocol.


With Russia's pending signature to the pact, more than 120 nations -- a majority of the global community -- will have ratified or acceded to the terms of the agreement.


While the United States should not necessarily accede to any international treaty simply because others do so, we believe that continued rejection of meaningful international involvement in the effort to address climate change


is not only undermining the global environment but also risks great damage to the American economy.


You have often cited your concern about the Kyoto Protocol's potential impact on U.S. businesses and consumer costs as a primary reason for opposing it. Yet, by not being a signatory, the United States now faces the


very real possibility of putting itself at a serious competitive disadvantage in the world marketplace.


Russia's now-likely approval of the Kyoto Protocol means that U.S. business will be cut out of the new carbon trading markets which have already been set up in London. Furthermore, carbon trading and incentives to install renewables and other clean technologies in the treaty will give companies in


Europe and elsewhere a financial advantage in joint trading agreements with former Eastern bloc and developing countries.


In addition, by giving industry, local authorities and consumers incentives to take action on climate change, Russia, Japan, the European Union and the other industrialized countries that have joined the protocol will set themselves on a path to greater economic efficiency. This will ultimately translate into foreign enterprises being significantly more competitive in the global marketplace.


Similarly, as other nations work to meet their greenhouse gas reduction obligations through expansion of energy-efficient and renewable energy technologies, the United States will continue to lose its share of the sustainable energy marketplace. The U.S. still has some of the leading technologies which could make it a net exporter and a dominant global force in many of the renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.


However, while the United States was the unquestioned world leader 20 years ago in the fuel cell, hydrogen, solar, wind, and other sustainable energy marketplaces, it has now lost significant marketshare and/or fallen far behind countries such as Japan, Germany, Denmark, and the United Kingdom. As a non-participant in the Kyoto Protocol or comparable international agreement, that slippage will not only continue but now also accelerate. Of course, the negative economic implications for the United States of not being a signatory to the pact should not be the only - or even the most important - reason for now reconsidering its position.


Notwithstanding a few global warming skeptics, the scientific certainty of climate change is sufficiently compelling to warrant aggressive action by the U.S. government -- action that goes far beyond merely calling for further research and voluntary initiatives. The persistence of record-setting global temperatures, dramatic climate changes in Arctic regions, increased intensity and frequency of severe weather conditions, and consistent scientific findings that evidence rapid climate change clearly call for a reevaluation of U.S. policy.


Moreover, as the nation contributing 25% of the world's greenhouse gases while having only 5% of the world's population, the United States has a clear moral obligation to move from the sidelines and into the mainstream to address this issue.


We recognize that joining the world community in the fight to reverse global warming will require some changes in the government's environmental and economic policies which will impact the American marketplace. However, we believe that addressing climate change with policies and investments that favor increased energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies will not only help the environment but also create millions of new, high-quality domestic jobs and businesses. It will be a net win for the U.S. economy.


We therefore urge you to follow the example set by President Vladimir Putin and lead the way for the United States to re-engage the international community on this issue by committing to binding goals for the reduction of greenhouse gases.


Sincerely



Alliance for Affordable Energy
American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy
American Wind Energy Association
Bob Lawrence & Associates
Cascade Associates
Chesapeake Climate Action Network
Clean Energy Partnership
Climate Protection Campaign
Climate Solutions
Earth Policy Institute
Energy Innovations
Environmental & Energy Study Institute
Environmental Media Services
Global Green USA
Independent Natural Resources, Inc.
Minnesotans for an Energy-Efficient Economy
National Environmental Trust
New Community Project
New Uses Council
North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association
Northwest Sustainable Energy for Economic Development
Nuclear Information and Resource Service
Potomac Resources, Inc.
REP America
Solar Energy Industries Association
The Stella Group Ltd.
SustainableBusiness.com
Union of Concerned Scientists
U.S. Public Interest Research Group
Vermont Energy Investment Corporation
WestStart-CALSTART


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