We must take the lead in addressing the challenge of global warming that could make our planet and its climate less hospitable and more hostile to human life. Today, I reaffirm my personal, and announce our nation's commitment to reducing our emissions of greenhouse gases to their 1990 levels by the year 2000. I am instructing my administration to produce a cost-effective plan ... that can continue the trend of reduced emissions. This must be a clarion call, not for more bureaucracy or regulation or unnecessary costs, but instead for American ingenuity and creativity, to produce the best and most energy-efficient technology.

President Clinton

April 21, 1993

President Clinton's Climate Change Action Plan meets the twin challenges of responding to the threat of global warming and strengthening the economy. Returning U.S. greenhouse gas emissions to their 1990 levels by the year 2000 is an ambitious but achievable goal that can be attained while enhancing prospects for economic growth and job creation, and positioning our country to compete and win in the global market.

There is no doubt that human activity is increasing the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The buildup of greenhouse gases threatens to change the global climate system, raise sea levels and inundate coastal areas, inflict irreversible damage to ecosystems, and destabilize agricultural production. But the magnitude of the threat should galvanize, not paralyze, our response.

Responding to future threats with immediate action takes vision and discipline. The international community has agreed that action is necessary now, even while the impacts of climate change may take decades to fully unfold. The Framework Convention on Climate Change challenges the industrial countries of the world to begin a long journey with the proverbial first step -- to return greenhouse gases to 1990 levels by the year 2000. We should strive to do no less; ultimately we will have to do more.

A full scale international response is needed to confront the climate change threat, and the United States will help to lead that effort. The President challenges the American people and other countries to meet the ambitious goals of the Framework Convention on Climate Change.

The President's Climate Change Action Plan presented here: