Thursday, May 22, 2008

Highlight on our Washington, D.C. Lobby Visit

Recently, the Oxfam Action Corps, has begun to share the message of Climate Equity with Vermont Senators Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders in their Washington, D.C. offices.

During this visit, we met with congressional staffers specializing in issues of environment and global warming to discuss our two main asks for this visit. Please read our leave-behind message, below, for highlights of our meeting.


While least responsible for causing climate change, poor people bear the brunt of its impacts. Oxfam America is launching a campaign to respond to the crisis. We believe that the U.S. should dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while also increasing funding so that poor people, both domestically and around the world, can survive the effects of global warming.

At the same time, we have to ensure that climate policies are enacted in an equitable way. In the U.S., that means neutralizing the impacts of any increased costs for low-income energy consumers due to climate legislation. And we should increase investments in green energy technologies for developing countries in order to cut harmful emissions, while producing new jobs in the U.S. and promote development internationally.

  • Climate Legislation Should Ensure Adequate Resources for Public Purposes
    A cap-and-trade system should ensure that a high percentage of the emissions permits are auctioned and that the revenue is used for public benefits, including adaptation for vulnerable communities, neutralizing impacts on low-income energy consumers, and promoting green energy technology internationally.

  • International Adaptation Funding
    Climate change is forcing vulnerable communities in poor countries to face unprecedented climate stress, including water scarcity and drought, severe weather events and floods, reduced agricultural productivity, and increased disease. A comprehensive climate policy should include significant funding for hard-hit areas around the world to adapt to severe climate change impacts. At least 10% of the revenue from the auction of emission permits should be used to help vulnerable communities in developing countries.

  • Domestic Low-Income Energy Consumers
    Climate change legislation could affect low-income energy consumers, but can also be an opportunity to benefit those same people. Climate change legislation should provide funding to neutralize the cost of higher energy prices to low-income consumers, while also providing new “green job” opportunities.

  • Developing Countries and Clean Energy Technology
    As part of a global effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, it is essential to address the significant need for clean energy technology in major developing countries. The U.S. should help those countries, while also stimulating our own economy, by providing clean energy technology internationally.

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