A Formula for US Leadership at the Paris Climate Talks

Affirming our dedication to Life in all its forms; a commitment to its preservation and defense; the overwhelming scientific and empirical evidence of a planetary emergency; the growing peril for all of Earth’s inhabitants; the moral imperative and practical obligation to assure the continuance of life on the planet;

Recognizing the urgent need to achieve deep reductions in greenhouse gas emissions (mitigation), we commit to 40% reductions by 2025 (27% of 1990 levels) and 60% by 2030 (48% of 1990 levels on a pathway towards 85% reductions of 2005 levels by mid-century.

Conscious of our role as a major emitter of harmful emissions, we shall now take bold steps to balance and redeem our historical actions by effecting ambitious cuts as required by science to avert irreversible, catastrophic climate changes looming on the horizon.

Noting with grave concern the approximate 50% gap between the sum of national pledges and emissions reductions necessary to maintain the agreed-upon average global temperature rise under 2ºC, we urge all major emitters to redouble their efforts prior to the year 2020, with a view towards sustained reductions leading to a peak and subsequent decline in emissions no later than 2020. Likewise, we urge all developing nations to hold emissions to current levels and seek to transition to low- carbon, renewable energy sources over the next decade.

Underscoring the most recent scientific assessments indicating that global temperature rise must not exceed 1.5ºC in order to ensure climate stability ─while current trends are tracking towards a dangerous 4ºC rise─ we will make strenuous efforts to remain under the 1.5ºC target.