Climate Security Act Will Benefit Alaskans

With debate scheduled next week on the Climate Security Act, the U.S. Senate has an opportunity to move ahead with the most promising domestic legislation to address global warming in our country’s history.

After years of inaction on this issue, the United States, with overwhelming encouragement from the American people, is finally mustering a response. The Climate Security Act will cap and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, invest heavily in tomorrow’s clean energy economy, provide energy cost assistance for people, and provide funding for cities, states and tribes to adapt to the climate impacts already occurring.

In Alaska, these needs are particularly acute. The Alaska Climate Impact Assessment catalogues existing and potential impacts to fish and wildlife, natural ecosystems, communities, roads, buildings and other infrastructure, and public health among many others, and outlines the research and monitoring needs, regulatory system changes, and many other forms of adaptation that may become necessary as climate impacts continue to unfold. The state’s sub-cabinet on Climate Change is preparing a plan to both mitigate GHG emissions and adapt to climate change impacts in Alaska.

The Climate Security Act will provide the assistance that Alaska needs to implement its Climate Change Strategy. The Act recognizes the disproportionate impacts of climate change in Alaska and dedicates 20% of total adaptation funds just to our state. In combination with other revenue sources that the Act creates for Alaska, the state will receive an estimated $1.1 billion in total global warming impact assistance if Congress passes the Climate Security Act.

Confronting global warming is a necessary step for society to take. The Climate Security Act addresses global warming in a creative way that boosts our economy and provides necessary assistance and investments to make the transition to a clean energy future. And the Act appropriately recognizes the unique circumstances faced in the country’s most northerly state.

Pat Lavin
National Wildlife Federation
Alaska Office

Published: May 26, 2008