國家環境信託（National Environmental Trust）負責人克萊普（Phil Clapp），在肯亞奈洛比聯合國氣候變遷會議的一場媒體簡報視訊會議中說：「全世界都在看國會的改變能否改變美國的氣候政策。」
Buoyed by a Democratic victory at the polls November 7 that took both the House and the Senate away from the Republicans, environmental leaders say that when the 110th Congress opens in January, they are planning to play offense for the first time in years. They will focus on energy, global warming, a reauthorization of the Farm Bill, conserving national parks and other public lands, and protecting endangered species.
On a media briefing teleconference call from Nairobi, Kenya where he is attending the annunal United Nations climate conference, Phil Clapp, president of the National Environmental Trust, said the world is watching to see if the change in Congress can change U.S. climate policy.
"Developed countries are hesitant to move towards another set of reductions unless the U.S. also pledges its reductions," Clapp said. "U.S. warming emissions have risen 19 percent over last decade and a half. Conference participants need a strong signal from the U.S. that George Bush's global warming policy is on the way out."
The United States had signed the Kyoto Protocol agreeing to limit greenhouse gas emissions under President Bill Clinton, but in 2001 President George W. Bush declined to submit it to the Senate for ratification, saying it would harm the U.S. economy.
Most other developed countries, including the European Union countries and Japan, are bound by the protocol, which expires at the end of 2012. It requires an average cut in greenhouse gases of 5.2 percent below 1990 levels, but is widely viewed as a first, very small step towards controlling global warming. In Nairobi, a second commitment period to begin in 2013 is under discussion.
"We have at most 18 months, maybe 24 months, to get another agreement completed before ratification due in 2012," Clapp said.
This week, Congressman John Dingell, the new chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, called for fact-finding hearings on energy and climate change. But, that is the policy the Republicans pursued, said Clapp, who points out that to date Congress has held over 200 fact-finding hearings on global warming. He says if the Democrats go down the road of hearings they will miss an opportunity to put global warming on pause.