Senate Climate Crisis Report Shows Why We Must Rebuild Better

EDF Statement from Elizabeth Gore, Senior Vice President, Political Affairs

August 25, 2020
Ben Schneider,, (202) 572-3279

“As the COVID pandemic continues to take a heavy toll on the health of Americans and our nation’s economy, the Senate Democrats’ Special Committee on the Climate Crisis has released an important report outlining the opportunity our country has to rebuild our economy better so that it is more sustainable, supports good-paying jobs and addresses inequities.

“The Special Committee report shows how we can spur economic growth, cut air pollution and address the climate crisis by embracing our clean energy future. The recommendations made in this report, all toward the goal of reaching net zero emissions by no later than 2050 and creating at least 10 million new jobs, are excellent guideposts for our leaders as they seek to develop a comprehensive plan of action.

“We are particularly pleased to see the committee is calling for ‘at least 2% of GDP to be spent on climate action annually’ – and for ‘at least 40% of the benefits from these investments to help communities of color and low-income, deindustrialized and other disadvantaged communities.’ These communities have long suffered the worst impacts of our nation’s air pollution, such as respiratory illness, and now disproportionately face the worst impacts of both the pandemic and the climate crisis. By prioritizing these communities, the report’s authors have recognized this fundamental injustice and set the stage for our elected leaders to finally take action to rectify it. Including leaders from these impacted communities in the process of allocating these resources will be essential to ensuring its effectiveness.

“This report arrives as we are tragically reminded of the costs of the climate crisis. Two major storms are hitting America’s coastlines this week alone, and wildfires are raging in California, Colorado and elsewhere. The science is clear that climate-related extreme weather events are making hurricanes, wildfires and other events more intense and destructive.The sooner we act to cut pollution and transition to a 100% clean economy the easier and less costly it will be for all Americans.

“To Chairman Senator Schatz and all the members of the Special Committee: we appreciate your leadership in releasing this report which demonstrates both the urgency of the climate crisis and the range of innovative solutions available to tackle it.”

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