Green and Blue Agree: Congress Should Pass Climate Legislation Now!

Citing the urgent need to put Americans back to work and address global warming, the Blue-Green Alliance, of which NRDC is a member, today urged Congress to pass a cap and trade bill to cut global warming pollution and released a detailed policy statement articulating a shared vision for how legislation should work.

The Blue-Green Alliance includes the United Steelworkers, Communications Workers of America, Service Employees International Union, Laborers' International Union of North America, the Sierra Club and NRDC.

This just makes my day. Heck, it makes my month. No, it makes my year!

Why? Because it raises to a new height the vision shared by labor unions and environmentalists on how to address global warming, a vision NRDC Executive Director Peter Lehner recently wrote about. It puts forth a positive vision that says "Yes! We can put millions of Americans back to work building, delivering and installing the clean energy solutions we need to beat global warming, and we need to do it now."

The agreement also puts us on the same page on a number of policy tough issues, by calling for Congress to:

  • Reduce U.S. emissions by at least 80 percent from 1990 levels by 2050; and reduce U.S. emissions significantly below 2005 levels by 2020, with individual partners advocating targets ranging from 14 to 25 percent.  
  • Auction allowances or use them for public purposes.
  • Link climate solutions to a broad agenda for economic opportunities that engages high-unemployment communities first and funds training and transition needs.
  • Pass complementary regulations, including standards for renewable energy, energy efficiency resources and fuel and appliance efficiency.

Dave Foster, Executive Director of the Blue-Green Alliance, puts the meaning of the moment well:

"The significance of this statement cannot be overstated. For the first time, a substantial number of unions representing workers across a broad section of the American economy have endorsed the principle that the way out of our current economic turmoil is through major investments in solving global warming.  The labor and environmental movements have truly embraced a common vision for the future."

 Exactly. Green + Blue = Bright Future.