Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) joined with 65 of her congressional colleagues to encourage state and local governments and private sector leaders attending the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco to embrace bold initiatives to address climate change in the absence of action from Trump administration.
“In the absence of federal climate change leadership from our current administration, we are encouraged by the actions at the state and local levels and from the business and investor communities to address climate change,” the members wrote. “With so many states, localities, businesses, investors and non-profit groups across the United States demonstrating innovative climate leadership, we remain optimistic that our nation can continue reducing its climate footprint while capitalizing on the enormous economic opportunity presented by the transition to clean energy.”
Full text of the letter follows:
September 12, 2018
Global Climate Action Summit Co-Chairs
C/o Governor Edmund G. Brown
State Capitol, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814
As representatives of millions of Americans committed to innovative and ambitious action to fight dangerous climate change, we write to express our support for the goals of the 2018 Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco. In the absence of federal climate change leadership from our current administration, we are encouraged by the actions at the state and local levels and from the business and investor communities to address climate change. With so many states, localities, businesses, investors and non-profit groups across the United States demonstrating innovative climate leadership, we remain optimistic that our nation can continue reducing its climate footprint while capitalizing on the enormous economic opportunity presented by the transition to clean energy.
States, businesses and local communities continue to lead on climate change, recognizing that it presents a serious threat to their communities, economies, and environment. State and local level climate action continues to grow our economies and create jobs while reducing pollution, improving public health, and building more resilient communities. We commend the sixteen states and Puerto Rico that comprise the U.S. Climate Alliance, which have pledged to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions consistent with the U.S. commitment to the Paris Agreement, and represent forty percent of the U.S. population and nine trillion dollars of economic activity. We applaud the more than 100 cities that have set GHG emission reduction targets. We are encouraged that in total jurisdictions that remain committed to the Paris Agreement represent over one-half of Americans and account for more than half the United States’ economy.
Finally, we are heartened by the businesses, investors, universities and other organizations that have committed to climate action through public commitments and campaigns such as the We Are Still In campaign. Leadership across all parts of our society will enable us to stay within reach of the emissions reductions we need to honor our international climate commitments and fulfill the promise we made to the world through the Paris Agreement.
Studies have shown that delivering on the Paris Climate Agreement would unlock at least $19 trillion in economic growth globally. This economic activity could increase GDP by almost one percent (or $200 billion) and create over one million new jobs in the United States alone in 2035, with far greater opportunities for U.S. businesses to invest in emerging markets overseas. Investors understand that clean energy is a huge economic opportunity the U.S. cannot afford to miss. The international clean energy market is worth an astounding $1.4 trillion a year – more than the airline industry and as much as the apparel sector. The U.S. share is $200 billion annually and will grow as long as we continue to pursue smart policies that send clear signals towards a clean energy future.
Here in Congress, we will continue to work towards comprehensive federal policies that reduce carbon emissions to meet our climate goals. We will continue to support U.S. engagement and membership in the Paris Agreement. We will keep up the fight against the continued rollbacks of domestic climate policies and regulations by the Trump administration, including the fuel efficiency and emissions standards and the Clean Power Plan.
Global emissions must start trending downward by 2020 to prevent the climate from warming more than 1.5 degrees Celsius—the point of potentially catastrophic consequences—and we are hopeful that this Summit will play a key role in galvanizing further action. We recognize the importance of this Summit in bringing leaders from around the world together to showcase climate solutions, and to give world leaders the confidence to go further. Now is the time for leaders at all levels to step up and meet the climate challenge head-on.
Once again, thank you for your leadership on one of the most consequential issues of our time. We look forward to working with you to protect current and future generations from the risks of a changing climate, and to usher in a new era of economic opportunity through the transition to a clean energy future.