NRDC-authored Article in Science Combines Scientific Credibility with Political Feasibility

WASHINGTON (November 2, 2006) -- Tomorrow Science magazine will hit the stands with a new vision for Washington's leaders to finally help solve global warming. With a new Congress expected to look very different this winter, and global warming now a front-burner issue for most Americans, this new 'ambitious centrist' plan combines science-based emission reductions with the political and economic realities of enacting global warming legislation.

The article, authored by three staff members of Natural Resources Defense Council's (NRDC) Climate Center, lays out a plan with three central elements that will cut global warming emissions, manage costs for business and consumers, promote new technology, and enact an effective "cap-and-trade" program, similar to the one used to cut acid rain emissions.

"For too long, many in Congress have been at loggerheads over global warming solutions," said Dr. Daniel Lashof, science director for NRDC's Climate Center and an author of the article. "With Americans demanding a more productive Congress on important issues like energy and global warming, it's time for partisanship to stop and a new direction in global warming leadership to begin."

The plan's three elements are:

  • A long-term declining cap, which would take effect quickly and gradually reduce emissions over time. This will reduce long-term costs by stabilizing global warming emissions at safe levels, sooner.

  • Managing costs to industry, business, and lower-income families, both in the short-term and long-term. By enacting a long-term program and allowing additional flexibility to borrow emissions allowances, companies can have the flexibility to meet emissions requirements without severe economic harm. And a fair approach to allocating emissions allowances, and economic assistance to install energy-saving technologies would give businesses, workers and lower-income families help adjusting to the required emission reductions.
  • Promoting new technology and faster deployment of low-carbon technologies. By encouraging industries to develop, produce and deploy new energy technologies, emissions will be cut faster, cheaper, and with many economic opportunities.

The article can be found by logging onto

This article follows two global warming reports this week that indicate a real need for immediate, ambitious action. Former World Bank chief economist Nicholas Stern released a report on the potential economic harm of global warming inaction, and the need and benefits of immediate investment in solutions. The report notes that every dollar of investment in global warming solutions would outweigh the economic consequences by five- to twenty-fold.

And also this week, the United Nations released a global warming emissions report that notes an overall increase in emissions from industrialized countries, but with an overall reduction from those countries party to the Kyoto Protocol. The United States continues to be the number one emitter of global warming pollution.