By Eric Galatas
Last week, House Democrats in Congress unveiled a plan to address climate change by achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
In a press briefing, Rep. Joe Neguse, D-Colo., called climate change “an existential threat,” and pointed to Colorado’s commitment to transition to wind and solar for electricity as a model for the nation.
“We know that we have a very short runway for action, and the IPCC report makes that very clear; it is getting shorter by the day,” Neguse said. “And there are far too many in this town who are standing by and watching as this crisis worsens by the day.”
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has warned that just a decade remains to reverse course on climate pollution in order to avert the worst impacts projected by scientists.
Republicans on the House Select Committee on Climate Crisis promised to review the plan, according to The Hill. The plan faces a tough road in the GOP-controlled U.S. Senate.
“We know that we have a very short runway for action, and the IPCC report makes that very clear; it is getting shorter by the day. And there are far too many in this town who are standing by and watching as this crisis worsens by the day.”
Rep. Joe Neguse
Committee chair, Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Fla., said the plan will help jump-start the nation’s economy, hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, by putting people back to work producing clean energy. She added that reducing pollution — starting in communities of color that are disproportionately affected — will improve health outcomes.
Castor said the plan also can ensure a better future for young people calling for climate action.
“To the young people who inspired us, we have heard you,” she said. “To the young Black mother who is afraid to allow her children to play outside because their asthma is getting worse, we’re going to start in your neighborhood. Your children come first.”
Castor said the goal is to create a 100% clean-energy economy.
In addition to ramping up renewable-energy capacity, the plan calls for transitioning to electric vehicles, expanding public transit, and reshaping construction and manufacturing sectors to be more sustainable.
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