Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, made the following remarks today regarding today's report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) after she received a briefing by telephone from Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, Chairman of the IPCC:
"This powerful report confirms the very real dangers that global warming poses for us all. The effects of global warming will be felt throughout the world.
Here in the United States, some of these impacts are already happening, and the report makes clear they will only worsen over time. Our water supplies, particularly in the Western States, are threatened by reduced snowpack. Our forests are at increased risk from pests and fire. And the health effects of severe global warming will be most dangerous to our elderly and children.
Worldwide, up to 30 percent of plant and animal species are at risk of extinction if we continue down this path.
When we have faced world crises before, the United States has always taken the lead in finding solutions. The world's foremost scientists have given us the information we need. We can still avert the catastrophic impacts of global warming.
Future generations will look back on us and ask: ‘Did we rise to the challenge while there was still time to make a difference?'
Our committee has held six hearings on global warming, and has passed one bill to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by making public buildings models of energy efficiency. Our next step will be to call the EPA before the committee, since it is clear the EPA has the authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, and the agency has thus far failed to do so. In the Environment and Public Works Committee, we will continue to focus on the comprehensive action needed to avert the global warming crisis. "