Union of Concerned Scientists: House Climate Crisis Committee report offers strong foundation for climate action
The House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis released a Climate Crisis Action Plan Tuesday—titled “Solving the Climate Crisis: The Congressional Action Plan for a Clean Energy Economy and a Healthy and Just America”—which is the culmination of a year-long effort that included community conversations and public hearings across the United States. The aim of the report is to guide Congress and the president on how to build a worker-focused clean energy economy, serve as environmental and economic justice champions, and minimize and prepare for the climate crisis through strategies that curb global warming emissions and increase resilience.
The best science tells us that climate change is happening now and will only get worse if we fail to take urgent action. This report underscores that climate change is not just a science issue, but also a health, economic, racial justice, housing and food security issue. It also highlights that only by engaging a broad range of stakeholders will we be able to solve the climate crisis.
The novel coronavirus epidemic has made clear what happens when we ignore scientists and don’t take decisive action before a problem outstrips our ability manage it. As we rebuild our economy, we need to do so in a way that equitably addresses the climate crisis to provide a better, healthier and safer future for everyone.
As with the COVID-19 crisis, the climate crisis also disproportionately affects communities of color, low-income communities and working people. Solutions must take into account long-standing racial and socioeconomic inequities to truly meet the needs of all communities. Young people also deserve an ironclad commitment from us to safeguard their future well-being and prosperity by leaving behind a world that is not ravaged by runaway climate change.
The report offers a strong foundation for climate action. It’s now incumbent upon Congress and the president to answer the call of the broad-based, powerful climate justice movement and transform the hundreds of policy recommendations into actionable rules and laws.