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Lawmakers Get Lesson on Global Science, Security, Sustainability

The chairman of the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change testified Wednesday before a Congressional committee about the effects of greenhouse gas emissions. The 2007 Nobel Prize winner told lawmakers the United States must lead efforts to slow global warming. VOA's Paul Sisco has today's Searching for Solutions report.

Since receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007, Rajendra Pachauri has been urging world leaders to take actions and set policies to mitigate global warming.

Wednesday, in Washington, he delivered his message to the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming.

Committee Chairman Edward Markey said, "It is time for the Congress to reestablish America's position in the fight against global warming as a leader, not a laggard. We need to achieve real reductions now."

Pachauri went even further. "We need to be concerned about the fact that even if we were to take very ambitious steps today, we would find it very difficult to stop climate change for several decades. We have to bring about mitigation measures as early as possible because otherwise the impacts of climate change will become more serious over a period of time," he said.

Pachauri said the costs of stabilizing carbon emissions at acceptable levels are minimal. "We really don't have to wait for anything dramatic, anything miraculous. We have all the technologies that are required."

He said what is needed is more development, use and commercialization of existing cleaner technologies. Pachauri said the United States has a moral, critical, and essential part to play in leading that effort.