Last night President Obama called on Congress to send him legislation that places a market-based cap on carbon pollution — identifying the development of clean energy solutions as one of the three areas critical to our nation’s future. Mark Tercek, president and CEO of The Nature Conservancy, has this response:

“President Obama’s speech last night contains the long-awaited promise of American leadership to address the critical challenge of climate change. A warming planet and rising seas imperil our communities, our children’s future and the natural world. Presidential leadership has never been so important. We applaud the president for calling on Congress to deliver urgently needed legislation that caps carbon emissions and thereby establishes the conditions for a clean energy economy for the 21st century.

“This issue cannot wait. As one of America’s largest conservation organizations, The Nature Conservancy stands ready to support the president and Congress in their efforts to enact a bill this year that caps carbon in order to sustain America’s long-term environmental and economic health and protect our natural resources.

“A cap on carbon will stimulate the investments in conservation, efficiency and new technologies that America needs to renew its economy while also guaranteeing that we do our part to reduce emissions.  Creative solutions — such as tapping the power of forests to store carbon and thereby saving some of the world’s greatest storehouses of biodiversity — can play a special role, and we must move swiftly to address the already emerging threats from climate change to ecosystems and communities.”

(Image: Barack Obama, from a Creative Commons license.)

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