President's Council on Sustainable Development
730 Jackson Place, NW
Washington, DC 20503
The White House
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President:
Ten months ago you asked the PCSD to advise you regarding climate policy options. We began our consideration of the climate issue with an examination of what is known and what is still uncertain about the nature and consequences of human caused change in the global climate. We have sought to understand the economics of the issue, the technological challenges and opportunities, and the links between the global, national and local actions needed to begin to address the problem. As you have, we listened to a wide range of experts, and sought the views and ideas of citizens.
One early result of the work of our Climate Task Force is agreement on a set of climate policy principles calling for early action, international commitments, accountability, flexibility, strong measures to encourage technology, and fairness. This consensus statement about climate policy from industry, environmental, citizen and state and local leaders is, as far as we are aware, the first such agreement on climate policy. We will use these principles to guide our own policy deliberations.
Although the debate over climate policy has grown angry and divisive as the Kyoto meeting approaches, in this case leaders of major environmental organizations, and automobile, oil, power and chemical companies have listened thoughtfully to each other, and reached agreement. The participants have shown vision and courage in producing this statement which emphasizes the need for action, and articulates the basis for effective and sensible policies.
We hope you will find this statement useful, and that it will provide a useful foundation both for the upcoming negotiations, and for future policy discussions within the United States. We would welcome your response and guidance as we continue carrying out your request to recommend climate policy options.