Prof. Stephens meets lawmakers for Concerned Scientists' call to action

Leading scientists in D.C. to urge legislation on global warming issues

Clark University Assistant Professor of Environmental Science & Policy Jennie Stephens is in Washington, D.C., joining a delegation of scientists and economists from ten states who met personally with members of Congress to deliver a call for strong climate action legislation. The formal Scientists and Economists Call to Action 2010, coordinated by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) and endorsed by more than 2,000 prominent scientists and economists, was released on March 11. It calls on policymakers to require immediate, deep reductions in heat-trapping emissions that cause global warming.

“It’s a critical time for climate/energy legislation in the U.S., and I’m glad to have this opportunity to meet with key lawmakers to discuss the urgent need for deep reductions in greenhouse gas emissions,” said Stephens, who met Thursday with Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) and Rep. James McGovern (D-MA).

Stephens is a member of the UCS, which just last year had a part in the U.S. House of Representatives passing the landmark American Clean Energy and Security Act. Now, Senators Lindsay Graham (R-SC), Joe Lieberman (I-CT), and John Kerry (D-MA) are working to produce a similar bill in the Senate.

“The goals of our meetings are to inform key lawmakers on climate impacts, to provide information about opportunities for climate/energy legislation in Massachusetts and beyond, and to support our Congressional delegation in their efforts to improve and pass unprecedented climate and clean energy legislation,” Stephens said. “These meetings provide an opportunity for me to share my research on clean energy deployment directly with our political representatives.”

According to the UCS, the letter concludes with the recommendation that the United States reduce global warming emissions “on the order of 80 percent below 2000 levels by 2050” and that the first step should be reductions on the order of 15 to 20 percent below 2000 levels by 2020.   

The Union of Concerned Scientists is the leading U.S. science-based nonprofit organization working for a healthy environment and a safer world. Founded in 1969, UCS is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and also has offices in Berkeley, Chicago and Washington, D.C.

For more information and to read the USC news release and the Scientists and Economists Call to Action 2010, go to www.ucsusa.org.

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