Press Release

Feb 16, 2012

Markey Praises New Obama Climate Initiative


WASHINGTON (February 16, 2012) - Speaking today at the launch of "A New Climate Change and Clean Air Initiative," Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton,  outlined a program that partners the United States with Ghana, Mexico, Bangladesh,  Canada and Sweden aimed at reducing short-lived climate pollutants.  These climate pollutants include methane, black carbon, and hydrofluorocarbons which account for 30-40 percent of current global warming.

Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) commended Secretary Clinton for addressing a problem that has historically garnered bi-partnership support for low-cost or no-cost actions. 

"Cutting short-term global warming pollution like methane will produce long-term benefits for our climate. If the world signs on to this ambitious agreement, it has the potential to get us one fourth of the way towards keeping warming below the 3.6°F pledge made by countries worldwide in the fight against climate change," said Rep. Markey, who is the top Democrat on the Natural Resources Committee. "Cutting this pollution doesn't just protect the health of the planet, it saves lives. The EPA estimates that cutting these pollutants could save more than 2.5 million lives globally. This initiative will yield a very large climate and health bang for almost no bucks."

Rep Markey brought Congress' attention to black carbon pollution as Chairman of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming during a 2010 hearing called "Clearing the Smoke: Understanding the Impacts of Black Carbon Pollution." The hearing included testimony from Drs. Shindell and Ramanathan, authors of a recent study that was used in part as motivation for the State Department's initiative.