Bipartisan Climate Resolution Will Support Wildlife
Last week, Representative Chris Gibson (R-NY), along with 10 other Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives released a resolution calling for action on climate change. The resolution shows a growing effort for bipartisan leadership on climate change and an eagerness for Congress to take meaningful action on this important issue. Released just before Pope Francis’ visit to the U.S. and address to Congress this week, this resolution shows that efforts to address climate change’s threat to people and wildlife need to be put into action.
The resolution states what virtually all scientists have been telling us: human activities are changing our climate, putting our communities, habitats, wildlife, and health at risk. It also states that Congress should take meaningful and responsible action to address these effects. The goal of the resolution is to move past questioning the science behind climate change and work to figure out real solutions for mitigating its impacts.While the resolution supports Congress taking action on climate change, it also states that efforts to address it should “not strain the economy” and should be economically viable. The ultimate impacts of climate change will undoubtedly be much more expensive than any meaningful measure to reduce our carbon pollution. That being said, many of the signatories acknowledged the important role that a healthy environment plays in a healthy economy. Addressing climate change can create a win-win situation by creating jobs, diversifying the economy, and protecting against the impacts of a changing climate. In fact, the clean energy industry employed more than 7.7 million people across the globe last year and is still growing.
This resolution is part of a larger, global movement to depoliticize climate change and focus on pro-active solutions to this scientific issue which is impacting people and wildlife across the globe. This week, the Pope has continued his call for moral action on climate change at both the White House and Capitol Hill. Soon world leaders from the UN will meet in New York to adopt the new Sustainable Development Goals which will create a road map to tackle issues including climate change, poverty, and inequality.
Also, yesterday the Senate announced their bipartisan climate bill to address non-carbon dioxide climate pollutants. By joining Rep. Gibson’s climate resolution, these Representatives are more closely aligning themselves with the majority of Americans, including other Republicans, who strongly support action to reduce carbon pollution and promote clean energy. Two-thirds of voters support recent limits placed on industrial carbon pollution, and about 70 percent of sportsmen – who see the frontline impacts of a warming world on wildlife – support climate action.With extreme drought and forest fires taking place throughout the west and 2015 already on pace to be the hottest year on record, bipartisan commitment to climate action is more important than ever. We need all of our leaders in congress to work together to pursue policies that aim to protect our wildlife, communities, and climate. It is only with bipartisan support that we can truly secure a safe and secure energy future that protects people and wildlife from the impacts of climate change and polluting fossil fuels.