President Barack Obama
1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20500
November 17, 2014
Dear President Obama
We congratulate you on the significant breakthrough of a U.S.-China agreement on greenhouse gas emission reductions. We note the enormous progress in commitments, not merely to slow the growth of emissions, but to cap and reverse them.
That the United States and China, which together produce 40% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, have made these commitments will encourage other countries to act, too. Canada, as you know, has been an international delinquent on climate change. The excuse of the current government that we could not act without comparable American action no longer applies. We will be urging our own government to move ahead on establishing serious, science-based targets and a plan to achieve them.
We also wish to commend you for your stand on the Keystone XL Pipeline. The changes in Congress from the mid-term elections are disappointing for anyone with serious concerns about climate change. You, however, are the duly re-elected president, with an increased vote, and you retain veto power. Future generations will thank you for acting on this great “threat facing humanity.” The Keystone project would result in expanded tar sands extraction and increased GHG emissions, quite apart from the risks of leaks. Both our countries must move to safe, alternative forms of energy and end the dependence on fossil fuels.