Lieberman, McCain propose domestic ‘cap and trade’ system to curb global warming

Washington, DC, August 6, 2001 — Senators Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) and John McCain (R-AZ) today called for development of an economy-wide cap-and-trade system to control emissions of greenhouse gases, which cause global warming.

The senators envision legislation that would include a comprehensive cap on greenhouse gas emissions, paired with an allowance trading system, in order to encourage innovation for reducing emissions.

“This is a win-win approach for the environment and for American industry,” Lieberman said. “Most significantly, it will reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that are slowly overheating our planet. But it will also create a market by which corporations will receive valuable credits for efficient investments. And we will unleash the power of that market to drive the United States back into its leadership position in the international fight against global warming.”

“Given the fact that the United States produces approximately 25 percent of the total greenhouse gases emissions, the current situation demands leadership from the United States,” McCain said. “We should reward improvements in energy efficiency, encourage advances in energy technologies, and improve land-use practices. Deploying the power of a marketplace to pursue the least expensive answers is a unique and powerful American approach to the threat of climate change.”

Recent scientific reports from the National Academy of Science and the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) conclude that climate change is real and has potentially disastrous consequences for future generations. The IPCC report states that there is new and stronger evidence that most of the observed warming over the past 50 years is attributable to human activities.

Unless steps are taken to halt this warming, scientists estimate that the Earth’s average temperature can be expected to rise between 2.5 and 10.4 degrees Fahrenheit during the next century, causing sea levels to swell up to 35 feet, and diseases such as malaria and dengue fever to spread at an accelerated pace.

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