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On the Conclusion of Climate Week, Following is a Statement by Frances Beinecke, President of the Natural Resources Defense Council:

“This week, President Obama reminded the world that climate change is the challenge of our generation and that history will judge us on our response. By moving forward with action on clean energy, we can strengthen our economy, protect our national security and reduce pollution. Internationally, a strong climate agreement would create new opportunities for a global shift to clean energy and protect the planet for future generations.

“President Obama and world leaders this week agreed to phase out fossil fuel subsidies over time. This commitment represents a strong down payment for a clean energy future.

“It was encouraging to see that several key countries demonstrated forward momentum in climate negotiations. President Hu Jintao signaled that China would commit to curb the growth of their emissions through 2020; Indian leaders said they would take domestic steps to reduce their emissions; Japan’s new government committed to a much deeper target than the previous government; and key world leaders strengthened their support for dealing with deforestation emissions.

“With President Obama’s continued engagement, the United States can enact strong clean energy legislation at home and mobilize the international community to come together around a climate agreement in Copenhagen.

“Now, we look to leaders in the Senate to move forward with clean energy and climate legislation that would move America toward a clean energy economy and would send a clear signal that the U.S. is ready to be a leader in reducing carbon pollution worldwide.

"By moving forward with clean energy and climate legislation, we can be the leaders in this century’s economic race – the clean energy one.”

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 2 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.

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