Contact: Ben Schneider, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-572-3279
Speaker Pelosi and the 116th Congress:
Congratulations on your win as Speaker of the House. As you prepare to establish your priorities for the new Congress and Democratic House majority, we would like to thank you for your leadership on the fight to address climate change and ask for your continued support in the first 100 days of the 116th Congress. Businesses, communities, and American families who have been leading the way are looking forward to having a partner in the federal government as we address the shared U.S. and global challenge of climate change.
Reports released last year, including the Trump administration’s own 4th National Climate Assessment (NCA) and the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, show that climate change is already having a drastic impact on our health and our economy. These reports only further underscore the need to take action now.
Since President Trump announced his intention to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement nearly two years ago, we, the undersigned governors, mayors, county executives, tribal leaders, businesses, faith groups, investors, hospitals and healthcare systems, and nonprofit organizations have joined forces to tell the world that we are still committed to meeting America’s pledge on climate. In the absence of federal leadership, 3,600 leaders from states, cities, businesses, faith communities, and healthcare, representing more than half of the U.S. economy and population, are working locally to adopt and meet targets for reducing the pollution driving climate change – cutting 500 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year by 2025 if targets are fully implemented.
As the NCA and other recent reports predict, the impacts of climate change will become even more catastrophic if we continue to ignore this imminent threat. That’s why we are already taking action to meet our U.S. commitments to reduce carbon pollution and we are finding innovative ways to adapt to the impacts we are already experiencing. Developing solutions to limit the effects of climate change makes good economic sense and is necessary to protect citizens, workers, and communities, particularly communities of color and vulnerable populations like the elderly, the young, pregnant women, and those living close to pollution sources who are most directly affected by the devastating impacts of climate change.
The businesses, health care systems, and communities moving forward with clean energy solutions are already seeing the benefits. Since June 2017, the U.S. has added enough renewable energy to power more than 3 million homes for a year. States are implementing policies that could save customers $16 billion per year by 2035, investing in energy efficiency and saving consumers 7.3 percent on their electricity bills.
Governors in key states are asserting ambitious leadership on climate and clean energy. The U.S. Climate Alliance now includes 21 governors from both parties who are committed to meeting their states’ Paris Accord climate goals. Hundreds of mayors in almost every state in the country are committing to a range of climate actions, including committing their cities to 100 percent clean energy. Governors and mayors across the country have also committed to reducing emissions from transportation, the top source of climate pollution, including supporting strong federal vehicle standards and investing billions to begin transitioning their vehicle fleets to electric vehicles, demonstrating to auto manufacturers that there is a committed market for zero-pollution vehicles.
This new Congress has a tremendous opportunity in its first 100 days to protect our health, economy, and position of leadership on the global stage. And you have the opportunity to address the inequality and injustice that exists in this country by investing in solutions that ensure communities bearing the worst brunt of pollution are invested in and benefit from the transition to clean energy.
Thank you for your attention to the urgent issue of climate change. We look forward to working with you on an ambitious climate agenda.