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Climate Change Task Force
The climate task force was established following
the April 1997 revision to the President's Council on Sustainable Development
(PCSD) charter. At that time, the PCSD was asked to advise the President on
domestic policy options and activities that could reduce greenhouse gas
emissions through approaches that maximize societal benefits, minimize economic
impacts, and are consistent with U.S. international agreements. Co-chairs: Jonathan Lash, World
Resources Institute D. James Baker, National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce Steve Percy, BP America,
Members: The climate task force
is a task force of the whole council, which includes members from business,
government, environmental and civic organizations. Climate Change Task Force Member List
Task Force Coordinator: Tamara
History: The task force decided to
focus on four areas of policy development:
Climate Change Principles. These principles provide
the Council with a shared statement on climate change and guide the Council's
more in-depth discussions of climate change policies and approaches.
Technology Working Group. This group examined the
various types of technologies that are currently available, under development,
or anticipated that could help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as well as
examined various policies or incentives that could foster the development and
dissemination of these technologies in this country and abroad.
Working Group Tri-chairs: General Motors, World
Resources Institute and the U.S. Department of Energy
Working Group on Economic, Regulatory, and Voluntary
Measures. This group examined a broad range of economic instruments,
regulatory approaches, and voluntary steps that could be taken to reduce
emissions of greenhouse gases. These could include tradeable permits; tax
credits/deductions for investing in improved technologies; carbon taxes;
mitigation measures for economic or regional dislocations; partnerships among
the investment and insurance communities, government, and industry; various
regulatory approaches; and voluntary initiatives.
Working Group Tri-chairs: Environmental Defense Fund,
BP America,U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Working Group on Cross-cutting Policies. Policies were
identified to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases while also furthering
progress in other areas of sustainable development. This working group provided
a focus for drawing linkages between the Climate Change Task Force and the
Council's other task forces (Environmental Management, Metropolitan/Rural
Strategies for Sustainable Communities, and International) and for identifying
those policies that may have benefits in more than one area. Other areas of
Demonstrating the Implementation of Greenhouse Gas
Reduction Policies and Activities
Public outreach activities including community forums,
the creation of a website, providing information to the media, and giving
speeches and presentations on climate change policies and activities.
Working with the Council's Evaluating Progress Working
Group to identify indicators and measures for tracking progress in addressing
the issue of climate change.
Progress Report: The Climate task
force sent a letter to the President in November 1997
(Press Release 11/26/97) outlining its first product:
a set of climate principles which were agreed
upon to help the task force in its policy deliberations. In the letter, the
co-chairs of the Council stated: "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." The principles call
for incentives for early action, international commitments, accountability,
flexibility, strong measures to encourage technology, and fairness.
Working group meetings began in February 1998.
1. The Working groups developed a set of
recommendations to accelerate the development and deployment of
climate-friendly technology, principles for early action
to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and identified steps that could be
taken to foster broad-based community participation to realize the benefits of