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Expanded Coalitions Support U.S. Climate Bill

By Ben Block
Worldwatch Institute

In an effort to broaden support for sweeping climate legislation, environmentalists are forming atypical alliances with other progressive social organizations.

In an effort to broaden support for sweeping climate legislation, environmentalists are forming atypical alliances with other progressive social organizations.

Groups such as the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), MoveOn, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) are part of a growing coalition of social welfare, labor, religious, and healthcare organizations joining forces with the traditional environmental lobby.

Major environmental groups say a nationwide grassroots effort is necessary to raise support for binding federal legislation to address climate change, especially during an economic recession when leaders are concerned that such reforms may adversely affect manufacturing industries and energy costs.

Climate legislation took a major step forward late last month when leaders of a House of Representatives energy committee convinced several moderate legislators to support the "American Clean Energy and Security Act." The bill promises to reduce U.S. carbon emissions 17 percent by 2020 and 83 percent by 2050, compared to 2005 levels, through a national cap-and-trade system.

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