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STATEMENT: WRI Board Members Respond to Proposed U.S. Power Plant Standards

In response to the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed emissions standards on existing power plants, World Resources Institute board members released the following statements:

Felipe Calderón, former President of México, Chair of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate and Board Member, WRI:

“I would like to congratulate President Obama on this bold move to reduce carbon emissions in the United States.

“These measures will be good for the health and security of all Americans. This is a flexible climate-resilient and business-friendly proposal that will benefit not just the United States, and should inspire more action around the world.

“As the world’s largest economy, the example of the United States will have powerful effects globally. I hope the United States can lead in creating innovation that can change billions of people’s lives for the better by increasing the use of more efficient and less damaging energy sources.

“Among other things, this is an important step towards recognizing the true cost of coal, an energy source that has significant impacts on people’s health in addition to the associated climate risks.”

“According to the EPA, this is an economically positive initiative that will provide health and climate benefits worth at least 55 billion dollars a year in 2030, well above the estimated costs of implementing the plan.”

Caio Koch-Weser, Chairman of the Board of the European Climate Foundation and Board Member, WRI:

"Today the US President sent an important signal to the rest of the world on the seriousness of American intentions to make a meaningful contribution to the reduction of greenhouse gas pollution.

"The proposed 30% reduction in US power-plant emissions by 2030 is an important step for the world’s largest economy on a path towards decarburization. The proposed rules will not deliver that goal on their own, but they do mark a step change in approach that will reverberate through the world’s capitals.

"For Europe, the US proposal is particularly relevant. As Europe considers its own 2030 commitments and begins its revision of energy efficiency legislation, the Obama Administration has shown the decisiveness and political will to regulate emissions directly in the interest of driving clean economic growth and low-carbon investment. Europe should take note and realize that a price on carbon is a vital tool, but not the only tool in the box. Emissions Performance Standards, particularly for coal-fired power generation, would be a cost-effective and climate-effective addition to Europe’s policy approach and would send a clear signal to the rest of the world that Europe is standing shoulder-to-shoulder with its peers in tackling global warming."

Jamshyd Godrej, Chairman and Managing Director, Godrej & Boyce, and Chairman of the Board, WRI India:

"Today's announcement by the Obama administration that the US will cut carbon emissions from its power sector affirms that the US is serious about climate action, which should have ripple effects in India and around the globe.

"The new rules demonstrate that the U.S. understands the global threat of climate change, along with the multiple opportunities of renewable energy and energy efficiency to build a strong economy for the 21st century. These standards will reduce harmful carbon pollution as they bring additional health benefits to people.

"Hopefully these actions will bring ongoing constructive engagement on international climate action by the United States and can usher in greater cooperation between the US and India on low-carbon growth strategies.

“To build a safe, strong, and equitable future, we should embrace the opportunities of low-carbon development. Today's announcement represents another important step toward that goal.”

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