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05/01/2009

Polluters Pay to Protect Species from Climate Change? Great Idea!

BandolierOn April 30, Congressmen Grijalva and Rahall made history by introducing legislation that would create a national strategy to protect our wildlife and their habitats from the worst consequences of global warming.  The awkwardly named Climate Change Safeguards for Natural Resource Protection Act (H.R. 2192) would establish an interagency adaptation panel.  That panel would be charged with creating the comprehensive strategy for how the various agencies that manage our natural resources should be working to combat climate change and to mitigate its effects on our lands, water, and wildlife.

This bill acts as a complement to the current energy and climate legislation proposed by Waxman and Markey.  If that bill includes a component for dedicated adaptation funding (which would guarantee money to fund projects that help habitats adapt to climate change), this bill would create a framework and a structure for that money to be spent in a useful way.  The concept is simple really, and has a certain balance and conceptual beauty.  Big carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas polluters have been warming our planet for decades, and getting rich doing so.  So now they should be paying for all that gas that, in the process of warming up our planet, is degrading crucial ecosystems and threatening countless species with extinction.  The money that they pay can and should go toward repairing the damage they've done and giving our wildlife the help and space they need to adapt to a changing world.  This bill sets up the best framework that we've seen yet to put in place the local, state, and federal policies to ensure that happens.

Read our press release.    

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