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The 100 Day Action Plan to Save the Planet

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On January 1st, 2007, the Presidential Climate Action Plan (PCAP), a project of the University of Colorado, Wirth Chair in Environmental and Community Development Policy, was launched to produce a 100 day action plan on climate change for the next President of the United States.

PCAP's final report, due out after the 2008 Presidential election, has been condensed into a new book: The 100 Day Action Plan To Save The Planet by PCAP Executive Director, William Becker.

From the forward:

"The 44th President of the United States will take the oath of office on January 20, 2009. From that moment forward, he will have a relatively short honeymoon period during which he has the best chance of advancing his agenda. This book is an action plan for the new President to attack the problem of global climate change during his first 100 days in office."

Becker's book, written in an engaging style, reworks the complex and scientifically detailed report into a readable format that helps to clarify the following priorities for the next administration:

1) Launching a "clean energy surge" and creating millions of high-quality jobs in green manufacturing, supply, technology, management, and support.

2) Providing incentives for green industries to create jobs in communities now dependent on coal and other fossil energy production.

2) Ending tens of billions of dollars in annual subsidies for fossil fuels and redirecting the money to develop and commercialize renewable energy technologies.

3) Requiring all federal facilities and fleets to reduce their carbon emissions.

4) Rewarding innovation and early adoption of renewable energy in the private sector.

5) Working constructively with other nations for global solutions to the climate crisis.

Becker emphasizes the need for the next president to seize bipartisan momentum and act to mitigate climate change within the first 100 days in office and this book is designed to provide a road map for ongoing changes needed in the months and years to come.

"When it comes to climate change and building a new economy," Becker relayed to me in a phone conversation last week, "there's no Right, there's no Left, there's only backward and forward and we need to go forward."

Becker stated that the next president must look for that which he can do immediately, both through the powers of his office and via the bully pulpit, to put through the most effective initiatives possible within the 100 day time frame, including:

--> Establishing "climate impact zones" in areas that will be hardest hit by climate change or climate policies, and providing them with job training, climate adaptation assistance and other critical help during the transition to a new energy economy.

--> Forbidding political interference in the work of federal climate scientists.

--> Appointing the nation's bests experts to key positions on sustainable economic development and on mitigating and adapting to climate change.

--> Establishing and enforcing limits on greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act.

Our conversation took place prior to the news of the Bush Administration's efforts to gut environmental regulations, a spanner in the works for the next president:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - As the U.S. presidential candidates sprint toward the finish line, the Bush administration is also sprinting to enact environmental policy changes before leaving power.

Whether it's getting wolves off the Endangered Species List, allowing power plants to operate near national parks, loosening regulations for factory farm waste or making it easier for mountaintop coal-mining operations, these proposed changes have found little favor with environmental groups.

Both business and environmental groups have decried the hurried and last minute nature of the regulation and policy shifts that the Bush Administration intends to put into place by January 20:

"If they are in effect then, it will be hard for the next administration to undo them, and in any case, this may not be the top priority for a new president," said Matt Madia of OMB Watch.

This gives the PCAP Action Plan, which provides strong guidelines for the first 100 days, increased weight as the recommendations are based upon sound science and the work of experts in their respective fields.

Led by Becker, long regarded as a national expert on sustainable community development and public policy related to green energy and global climate change, PCAP includes an extensive Advisory Committee and national experts who have contributed ideas as participants in the National Leadership Summits for a Sustainable America.

The final PCAP report will be released in the next few weeks (following the election).

Becker's new book, The 100 Day Action Plan to Save the Planet, published by St. Martins Griffin in eBook format to reduce its carbon footprint, is available now.

More on this topic at The Environmentalist

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