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Merkel, Obama Stalling on Climate Finance November 2, 2009

Posted by Morgan in copenhagen, International Adaptation, tcktcktck.
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Press Release for Tuesday, Nov 3rd.

WASHINGTON DC — This morning climate activists greeted German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s motorcade at the White House as she arrived to meet with President Obama. The giant heads of each leader had a speech bubble reading “No, you go first” in both English and German in front of a banner reading “Climate Finance”.

The activists, part of the Action Factory, say President Obama and Angela Merkel are the two leaders with the most power to lead the world to a global climate treaty.  A major hurdle to a climate treaty in Copenhagen is the inability of rich nations to fund climate adaptation that would help vulnerable countries deal with increased climate threats.

“Obama and Merkel need to lead together.  They keep complaining about a lack of leadership, but when they meet face-to-face, they had better get past that and commit to business,” says Morgan Goodwin, 25, an activist with the Action Factory.

Last friday the EU stated the world needed to commit EURO 22-50 billion (US $32-$78 billion) of public money to climate finance, but refused to commit any money itself.  Not only is that amount short of what’s needed, the agreement is meaningless unless other countries put forward money for the deal. according to the New York Times.

The Obama administration says that its hands are tied until the Senate to passes a bill climate bill.  But advocates point out the actions like committing to attend the landmark Copenhagen summit that Obama can take notwithstanding legislation.

The COP 15 Copenhagen conference begins in 33 days and the final intercessional negotiation in Barcelona is currently underway.  UK PM Gordon Brown echoed calls for more significant funding from the EU, citing the need for €30 to €40 billion a year by 2020, according to the AP.  Brown remains upbeat on the prospects for successful Copenhagen negotiations, an outcome that is partially dependent upon progress at the EU/US summit this week.

The Action Factory is a group of activists working for a strong climate treaty in Copenhagen.  The group has earned earlier attention for calling for a 1.5 degree C warming target at Merkel’s visit with Obama in June.  The group presented President Obama with a plane ticket to Copenhagen on his birthday and recently staged an olympic trials event outside the White House during his trip to Copenhagen to stump for the olympics.

“We need a global climate treaty,” says Julie Erickson, spokesperson for the Action Factory.  “All the activism we do is geared towards getting the US and other major players on board.  Most of these leaders won’t be around in 2050, but our generation will, and we’re scared of what will be left without ambitious action now.”

For further information, please contact Julie Erickson, 413.687.1987, julie@actionfactories.org
Visit our website at http://dc.actionfactories.org

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Buff Climate Strongmen: The Envy of EPW Senators August 2, 2009

Posted by Morgan in climate bill, strongmen.
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Last Thursday, just before news broke of the Naked Fraud committed by fossil fuel lobbyists prior to the house vote on ACES, the Climate Strongmen made the trek to Capitol Hill once again. These honest advocates are speaking on behalf of 300,000 Americans rather than on behalf of greedy oil executives, and they are speaking the truth. This time, the Climate Strongmen flexed their climate bill muscles both inside and outside of a Senate Hearing on Climate Change and National Security. In honor of the hearing theme, the strongmen wore hats with stars and stripes in order to remind Senators that passing a strong US climate bill isn’t simply about going along with the rest of the world – it is about protecting our own national interests and making America stronger. Ensuring the stability of countries most vulnerable to climate change will ultimately be a down payment on the future security of the United States. Reducing our dependence on foreign oil will mean that more American dollars will stay in the US and be invested in clean energy technologies here at home. A strong US climate bill will boster the American economy rather than support potential foreign threats.

Three climate strongmen sat inside the hearing with small signs stating the crucial role that a strong climate bill will play in ensuring the safety and security of the US. The strongmen were quite visible and despite their wit, Senator Lautenberg did not seem impressed by their humor. For the duration of the hearing, 3 additional Strongmen worked up a sweat in the hallway by a door where EPW committee members entered and exited the hearing. There the Strongmen greeted Senators and their staffers, encouraging them to adopt a rigorous climate workout routine. They had friendly exchanges with Senators from both sides of the aisle including chairwoman Boxer, and Senators Carper, Lautenberg, Cardin, Klobuchar, Whitehouse, Udall, Merkley, Inhofe, Barrasso, Bond, and Alexander.

Senators Klobuchar and Carper took particular interest in the Climate Strongmen and thanked them for their efforts. Envying the Strongmen’s burly muscles, these senators pledged to work harder to buff up the climate bill in the weeks to come in order to attempt to make it as strong and bold as the Climate Strongmen. Yet they didn’t seem to have the energy or motivation to flex their muscles in the Dirksen hallway.

Even Senator Inhofe, who has historically been unconcerned about climate change and doubtful of the risks that a weak and out-of-shape climate bill poses to America, was curious to know where the Climate Strongmen learned their brilliant workout routine and responded in a friendly manner when the Strongmen asked him to flex his climate muscles.

The Strongmen were excited to have the opportunity to show their strength and hope for a stronger climate bill to so many senators directly, and were glad to hear that many of these senators are committed to setting more ambitious CO2 fat reduction goals. Yet the Strongmen are not impressed with the stamina of the senate and really hope to see senators step up their ambition in the coming weeks. Perhaps the senate recess will give senators a chance to work out, so that they come back in September ready to make their climate bill harder, better, faster, and stronger. And only time will tell where the Climate Strongmen may show up next.