WASHINGTON — The U.S. House of Representatives voted in favor of H.R. 9 “The Climate Action Now” Act on May 2, 2019. Prior to the landmark decision, health, faith and local elected leaders spoke out to urge the U.S. House to commit to meeting international goals to cut planet-warming pollution. They pressed Congressional members of both parties to act as urgently as possible and called on the Senate to take up this straightforward bill and make America a leader on climate solutions.
More than two hundred congressional leaders co-sponsored this important first step to cut global warming pollution. The legislation not only requires the U.S. to remain in the Paris Climate Agreement, but also ensures that out country meets its international commitment to cut carbon emissions by at least 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.
Key health, faith and local elected leaders issued the following statements:
“We all have some important choices to make now on climate change. We can sit on the sidelines or get into the game. If we sit on the sidelines, we and all of humanity will surely lose. If we get into the game now, as we are asking our Congress to do, with our whole spirits and hearts, we have a chance. The House has made the right choice in passing H.R. 9. We hope and urge the Senate to follow suit,” said Bob Perkowitz, ecoAmerica president.
“Storms impact every household in their path. Climate change affects all our lives and our futures, no matter where we are in the United States. Resiliency planning and climate solutions should be non-partisan. We need to protect and strengthen our communities, especially those that are rural or low income,” said Jennifer Watson Roberts, 58th mayor of Charlotte, NC and director, Path to Positive Communities.
“It is my hope that while we are all together on solving the climate crisis, new avenues of cooperation will emerge. I want us to reach the point where the whole of what we contribute becomes greater than the sum of our parts,” said John C. Dorhauer, United Church of Christ general minister and president.
“Climate change is a national priority with dire consequences for our health and the health of our communities. By leveraging broad political and social support, we can address this threat and protect public health from the impacts of climate change. But we need to act now,” said Georges C. Benjamin, MD, executive director, American Public Health Association.
“When it comes to our children, there’s one thing all Americans can agree on: We want them to be safe and healthy. Yet scientists warn us that if we want them to have a safe and healthy future, we need to do more to reduce the pollution that’s warming our planet and changing our climate. We need congressional members of both parties to lead on climate now,” said Andrea McGimsey, senior director, Environment America’s Global Warming Solutions Campaign.
Absolutely! Climate Action now! But how we take action? We’ve talked with our local elected officials and salaried managers (city manager, for example) and it’s like talking to a post. They are so dependent on the monied interests (developers, real estate, hotel, etc) that nothing about climate change seems to penetrate.