David Doniger

I'm the policy director of the Natural Resources Defense Council's (NRDC) Climate Center, and our chief global warming lawyer. I rejoined NRDC in March 2001 after serving for eight years in the Clinton administration, where I was director of climate change policy at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and, before that, counsel to the head of the EPA's clean air program. I also served for a year at the Council on Environmental Quality. This is my second stint at NRDC -- I first started here in 1978 and worked on clean air issues for the next 14 years, helping to win the Montreal Protocol to stop depletion of the ozone layer and the Clean Air Act amendments of 1990. Now we're working to pass legislation to cap and cut the pollution that causes global warming, and to reach a new treaty for global emission cuts.

Eyes wide shut

Is blindness on clean air, climate change, and public health contagious?

Some 123 members of the House of Representatives have cosponsored bills to strip the EPA of its authority on the Clean Air Act.

You better watch out ...

Clean Air standards coming for America's biggest carbon polluters

In a big step forward, the EPA announced today a two-year plan to set clean air standards for power plants and oil refineries.

breathe easier

Court gives green light to EPA carbon pollution standards

Big news: The Supreme Court just gave the green light to implementing the EPA's first carbon pollution standards.

false start

How an energy bill could fuel more global warming

Cross-posted from NRDC Switchboard. As President Obama and senators consider their options on energy and climate legislation, it’s important to be clear about what will move the country forward and what will move it backward. Will our leaders put us on the road towards the carbon pollution cuts desperately needed to take back control of our economic, environmental, and national security, or will they drive in the wrong direction and make matters even worse? As my colleague Dan Lashof shows here, the Senate can at least get us started towards the economy-wide carbon pollution reductions we need, by adopting a …

The Copenhagen Accord: A Big Step Forward

The Copenhagen climate deal that President Obama hammered out Friday night with the leaders of China, India, Brazil and South Africa broke through years of negotiating gridlock to achieve three critical goals.  First, it provides for real cuts in heat-trapping carbon pollution by all of the world’s big emitters.  Second, it establishes a transparent framework for evaluating countries’ performance against their commitments.  And third, it will start an unprecedented flow of resources to help poor and vulnerable nations cope with climate impacts, protect their forests, and adopt clean energy technologies.  This was not your ordinary leaders’ summit, where presidents and prime …

Two moves by the U.S. and China that could unlock the Copenhagen chess game

Co-authored with Barbara Finamore, NRDC’s China Program Director The Copenhagen climate summit is coming to its moment of truth, and all eyes will be on the United States and China. Together these two countries account for 42 percent of world CO2 emissions. One is responsible for the largest share of past emissions; the other for the largest share of future emissions. Other nations, both developed and developing, are looking to them for leadership. If China and the U.S. play their parts, we can forge the global consensus needed to prevent catastrophic climate change. Both the U.S. and China deserve credit …

The Rest of the Story of Cap and Trade

Recently, we’re hearing another round of questions about the cap and trade approach to curbing global warming pollution. For instance, there’s an entertaining cartoon going around called “The Story of Cap and Trade” questioning whether climate legislation based on cap and trade will do the job.  Scientist James Hansen and economist Paul Krugman offer opposing perspectives on the wisdom of cap and trade in dueling columns in today’s New York Times.  We have enormous respect for Jim Hansen, but NRDC sides with Krugman on this one. Let’s start with clarity about what NRDC is for.  We’re pushing for comprehensive energy and …

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