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Proposal Details

Proposal ID522
ProposalPLATFORM: Climate Change
PresenterPlatform Committee presenter, Green Party of California sponsor
Floor ManagerDavid Strand
Discussion07/26/2010 - 08/08/2010
Voting08/09/2010 - 08/15/2010
Presens Quorum31 0.6666
Consens Quorum68 0.6666 of Yes and No Votes


GPUS Bylaws Article IX. Platform states:

9-1.1 The GPUS Platform represents policies upon which most Greens would agree and serves as a basis for Green Presidential and Congressional campaigns. The Platform may only be amended as provided by this Article.

9-1.3 In even numbered years in which there is no Presidential Nominating Convention, the National Committee shall be the decision-making body responsible for amending the platform. The process shall be as established in the GPUS Rules and Procedures.

9-1.4 Amendments to the Platform may be submitted for consideration by any accredited state party or caucus, or any committee whose Mission Statement authorizes it.


Establish new section called, "Climate Change" in Chapter 3 of the GPUS Platform.


SECTION SUBTITLE: Meeting our generation's greatest challenge

OUR POSITION: Greens want to stop runaway climate change, by reducing greenhouse gas emissions at least 40% by 2020 and 95% by 2050, over 1990 levels.

Climate change is the most grave environmental, social and economic peril that humanity has ever met. Across the world, it is causing vanishing polar ice, melting glaciers, growing deserts, stronger storms, rising oceans, less biodiversity, deepening droughts, as well as more disease, hunger, strife and human misery. It is a tragedy unfolding in slow motion.

Greenhouse gases warm the Earth by trapping heat in the atmosphere. Much of that heat is initially absorbed by the ocean, creating roughly a 30-year delay in the impact of that heat at the surface of the planet. Practically speaking, that means that the melting glaciers and expanding deserts of 2009 were the result of greenhouse gases dumped into the atmosphere in the late 1970s, when the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was below 350 parts per million (ppm). To return to a safe level of greenhouse gases in Earth's atmosphere, we must reduce atmospheric greenhouse gases as quickly as possible to levels that existed before 1980, to 350ppm carbon dioxide.

Greens support science-based policies to curb climate change. We have an ambitious plan to make drastic changes quickly to avert global catastrophe. We will expend maximum effort to preserve a planet friendly to life as we know it by curtailing greenhouse gas emissions and actively removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.



1. Support a strong international climate treaty under the auspices of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The United States must do far better than its offer in Copenhagen to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 4% below 1990 levels. We should support at least a 40% reduction by 2020 and 95% reduction by 2050, over 1990 levels.


1. Establish carbon taxes on fossil fuels, to reflect the environmental cost of their extraction and use. Carbon taxes should be applied as far upstream as possible, preferably when possession of the carbon-bearing fuel passes from extraction (for example, coal mine; oil wellhead or tanker; gas wellhead) to the next entity in the supply chain (for example, coal shipper or utility; oil refiner or importer; natural gas pipeline). Offset potential regressivity for lower income individuals by cutting income taxes and/or other approaches. Carbon taxes are better than market-based policies because they lead to more predictable carbon pricing, are more transparent, take effect more quickly, and do not enable profiteering by the financial industry.

2. Eliminate subsidies for fossil fuels, nuclear power, biomass and waste incineration, and biofuels. We must also acknowledge that the bulk of our military budget is, in fact, an indirect subsidy for oil and gas production.

3. Prevent perverse incentives arising from higher carbon prices. By putting an increased price on carbon, all energy sources that do not have the carbon price imposed look relatively more attractive: nuclear power, biomass and biofuels are all in that category. Carbon pricing could easily result in massive deforestation to produce additional biofuels that have suddenly become relatively cheap and economically attractive. In addition to pricing carbon, we must mandate real clean solutions.


1. Pay for adaptation to climate change in countries with less responsibility for climate change.

2. Provide a carbon neutral development path for those countries that can no longer be permitted to develop in the same way we did - by burning cheap fossil fuels.


1. Adopt energy efficiency standards that reduce energy demand economy-wide by 50% over the next 20-30 years. The U.S. can make massive reductions in its energy use through a combination of conservation and efficiency measures. We don't actually need any additional power. Instead, we can and should reduce our consumption of power.

2. Build an efficient, low cost public transportation system. The best incentive we can provide to live closer to work and reduce the use of private vehicles is to make the alternative inexpensive and convenient to use.

3. Adopt a national zero waste policy. The less we consume and throw away, the less we will need to produce and replace.


1. Create an inclusive program to train workers for the new, clean energy economy. Focusing on both the environment and social justice, prioritize the creation of green jobs in communities of color and low income communities.

2. Adopt a clean energy portfolio standard that rapidly replaces our combustion-based power sources with wind, solar, ocean, small-scale hydro, and geothermal power.

3. End the use of nuclear power. Nuclear energy is massively polluting, dangerous, financially risky, expensive and slow to implement. Our money is better spent on wind, solar, geothermal, conservation and small-scale hydroelectric.

4. Stop "dirty clean energy." Many of the "solutions" offered in climate legislation aren't real solutions. Biomass incineration (trees, crops, construction debris and certain types of waste), landfill gas and many types of biofuels will dump massive quantities of toxic pollutants into the air and water, and some of these energy sources produce more greenhouse gas emissions than coal. Natural gas is primarily methane, which is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas. Consequently, when pipeline leakage is considered, the clean-burning characteristics of natural gas can be lost, resulting in a fuel with climate impacts as bad as coal. Biomass and biofuels will also increase deforestation, contributing to more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.


1. Convert U.S farm and ranchland to organic practices. Chemical and industrial agriculture produces 35-50% of climate destabilizing greenhouse gases.

2. Switch to local food production and distribution. Localized, organic food production and distribution reduce fossil fuel usage and enriches soil that that sequesters more carbon dioxide.

3. Reduce methane, nitrous oxide and other greenhouse gases by rapidly phasing out confined animal feeding operations, and encouraging a reduction in meat consumption.




Visit the Platform Committee webpage for this proposal at:
On the webpage, you can see various formats of the proposal created by the GPUS Platform Committee and the amendment proposal sponsors including the 2004 and 2010 texts side-by-side. You can also read and respond to comments from Greens around the country, including many who are not on the Green National Committee.

There was no text on Climate Change in the 2004 platform.

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