Support Strong Commitments by President Barack Obama in Adherence to the United Nations Framework Conference of Climate Change
WHEREAS, climate change is a complex problem, which, although environmental in nature, has consequences for all spheres of existence on our planet as it impacts or is impacted by poverty, economic development, population growth, sustainable development and resource management; and
WHEREAS, the NAACP has passed resolutions on environmental and climate justice in 1974, 1976, 1977, 1981 1983, 1990, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2009, 2010, 2012, and 2014; and
WHEREAS, in 1992, countries joined an international treaty, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), to cooperatively consider what they could do to limit average global temperature increases and the resulting climate change, and to cope with whatever impacts were, by then, inevitable; and
WHEREAS, by 1995, countries realized that emission reductions provisions in the Convention were inadequate and they launched negotiations to strengthen the global response to climate change, and, two years later, adopted the Kyoto Protocol; and
WHEREAS, the Kyoto Protocol legally binds developed countries to emission reduction targets with The Protocol's first commitment period starting in 2008 and ending in 2012, and the second commitment period beginning on January 1, 2013 and set to end in 2020; and
WHEREAS, the United States of America is one of the 195 Parties to the Convention and 192 Parties to the Kyoto Protocol, acknowledging what is at center of the response to climate change-the need to reduce carbon emissions. In 2010, governments agreed that emissions need to be reduced so that global temperature increases are limited to below 2 degrees Celsius; and
WHEREAS, coal burning power plants are the largest single source of carbon pollution, and fossil fuel based energy production accounts for nearly 40% of the emissions that cause climate change by trapping heat in the atmosphere and dangerously warming the planet; and
WHEREAS, though United States is only 4% of the global population, it is responsible for 25% of the emissions that cause climate change and has the highest per capita rate of emissions of any nation in the world; and
WHEREAS, ahead of the 2015 UNFCCC Conference of Parties in Paris, France, President Barack Obama has demonstrated leadership with historic regulations issued in a 2014 Executive Order, which aims to reduce carbon pollution emitted from coal producing power plants by 30% from 2005 levels by 2030, which, if implemented effectively and equitably will set the United States on track to meet its target set forth in the United Nations (UN) accord and combating climate change, while supplying America with reliable and affordable energy; and
WHEREAS, in March of 2015, President Obama issued another Executive Order that will cut the Federal Government's Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions 40 percent over the next decade from 2008 levels - saving taxpayers up to $18 billion in avoided energy costs - and increase the share of electricity the Federal Government consumes from renewable sources to 30 percent, prompting several major Federal suppliers to announce commitments to cut their own GHG emissions.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), advances environmental and climate justice as a civil rights issue as its imperils and disproportionately impacts low income and minority communities, and thus the NAACP applauds the efforts of the United Nations Framework Conference on Climate Change in demanding global accountability in addressing and combating the world's climate crisis and will continue its engagement and participation with UNFCCC to ensure that the economic and environmental interest of our constituents are represented; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the NAACP encourages President Obama to ensure that his historic issuance of the first-ever Executive Order which establishes carbon pollution standards for existing power plants will result in a strong rule that features ambitious targets on emissions reduction energy efficiency and shifting to clean energy (solar, wind, and geothermal) in order to protect the health of our children and put our nation on the path toward a significant reduction in carbon pollution from the power sector by 2030; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the NAACP applauds President Obama's Executive Order to maintain Federal leadership in sustainability and greenhouse gas emission reductions over the next decade; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the NAACP's units continue to advocate for substantial emissions reduction, aggressive timetable on energy efficiency and 100% clean energy (solar, wind, and geothermal), and significant US investment in equitable adaptation domestically and in the global south.