On the heels of the announcement that 1998 surpassed 1997 as the warmest year on record, President Clinton is strengthening U.S. efforts to meet the challenge of climate change. The President's FY00 budget will propose funding for a new Clean Air Partnership Fund; a package of tax incentives and investments to foster increased energy efficiency and greater use of renewable energy sources; and increased funding for basic scientific research.
Clean Air Partnership Fund. The President's FY00 budget will propose a new Clean Air Partnership Fund to support state, local, and private efforts to reduce both greenhouse gas emissions and ground-level air pollutants. Through grants to state and local governments the Fund will help finance projects that go beyond legal requirements and enable communities to achieve clean air goals sooner. It will also stimulate cost-effective pollution control strategies, spur technological innovation, and leverage substantial non-Federal investment in improved air quality. The Fund will be administered by the Environmental Protection Agency under existing authority.
Climate Change Technology Initiative. The President's FY00 budget will propose a package of tax incentives and investments in research and development to spur increased energy efficiency and broader use of renewable energy sources. The package will help increase U.S. competitiveness, reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil, maintain U.S. leadership in energy technology, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the same time. Highlights include:
· Tax credits for consumers who purchase fuel-efficient cars, homes, appliances, rooftop solar systems, and energy from alternative sources, such as wind, solar and biomass; and,
· Increased R&D spending to develop clean technologies for the major carbon-emitting sectors of the economy -- buildings, transportation, industry, and electricity. Included is funding for the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles, a government-industry effort to develop highly-efficient cars; the Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing; and for renewable energy, including innovative technologies to convert crops into power and fuels.
Providing a Sound Science Foundation for Policy Decisions. The President's budget will also propose increased research funding to gain a more comprehensive scientific understanding of human and naturally induced changes in the Earth's environment and to assess the likely consequences of global warming. A new research project, the Carbon Cycle Initiative, will seek to deepen our understanding of carbon "sinks," such as forests and farmlands.
Credit for Early Action. The Administration will work closely with industry and Congress during the upcoming year on legislation to reward companies taking early, voluntary action to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions or increase carbon sequestration.
Diplomacy. The Administration will continue vigorous diplomatic efforts to fill in key details of the Kyoto Protocol in areas such as international emissions trading and to encourage the meaningful participation of developing countries in efforts to address global warming.
These initiatives will complement other elements of the Administration's climate change plan, which include working cooperatively with industry sectors on initiatives to cut greenhouse gas emissions; strengthening efforts to make Federal purchasing and energy use more energy-efficient; and restructuring the electricity industry.