Back when I first came on to the Defend Our Future team earlier in the year, I wrote a blog where I tried to make it as clear as possible why Defend Our Future exists: because Congress, as an institution, hadn’t done nearly enough to fight climate change. Because if we didn’t stand together and demand action, action would never come.
Yesterday, we may have started to see the tide finally start to turn in Congress. And everyone in the Defend community helped make it happen.
Climate champion Rep. A. Donald McEachin of Virginia announced his landmark 100% Clean Economy Act on Thursday, a bold climate change bill that would put the country on a path to a 100% clean economy by 2050. For those unfamiliar, a 100% clean economy is one that allows no more climate pollution to be produced than can be removed from the atmosphere, across all economic sectors.
That national, economy-wide target gives a framework within which everyone — the federal government, states, companies, consumers, everyone! — can work toward policies that meet the 2050 goal.
It’s ambitious. It’s achievable. Getting a bill with this scope, this purpose, co-sponsored by MORE THAN ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY U.S. REPRESENTATIVES is a BIG freaking step in the right direction. It’s a wide-ranging and diverse group of co-sponsors, too. It includes members from the business-oriented New Democrat Coalition, the Progressive Caucus, the Congressional Black Caucus, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and senior House committee leaders. And for the cherry on top — more than a dozen leading environmental and climate organizations also support the bill!
After years of inaction, we have some real momentum building in the House of Representatives. And we could not have done it without you. Thanks to you and our allies in the movement, Congress heard our demand for action. You signed petitions. You wrote letters to your local papers. You called your elected officials. You took part in the BIGGEST climate strike the world has ever seen!
We have a long way still to go — we need more lawmakers to sign on. We need to convince a bipartisan majority in the Senate. We need to work with companies and encourage them to do their part. We need to continue to build a movement that will effect change, and endure. Defend Our Future is cooking up exciting plans for 2020 to make the change we need a reality, and we can’t wait to share them with you.
But today, I want each and every one of you to take a minute and realize what just happened; We, as a group, stood together, spoke out and demanded action. Congress listened. It worked.