WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, U.S. Senator Tom Carper, top Democrat on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, was joined by 33 senators in introducing legislation that would put our country on a pathway toward net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by no later than 2050.
The Clean Economy Act of 2020 would empower the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to design and implement a national plan that will rapidly reduce our nation’s greenhouse gas emissions by mid-century or sooner. This bill ensure that all Americans reap the public health benefits that come with having a stronger, safer climate and an economy that works for everyone. Here’s what major stakeholders are saying about the legislation.
“This bill would be an important step forward for our booming clean energy economy because it both reinforces EPA’s existing authority to rein in carbon pollution, and sets firm, ambitious targets for doing so. We are excited about the broad support this legislation has found in the Senate under the leadership of Ranking Member Carper,” said Michael Brune, Executive Director of Sierra Club.
“The challenges ahead are daunting—but we can overcome them,” said Gina McCarthy, President and CEO of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). “This bill will help jumpstart a breakthrough on climate action. It will cut dangerous fossil fuel pollution and steer us toward cleaner, smarter energy sources—sending a message that the Senate backs a strong national response to a global threat. It will help us build the better future our children deserve.”
“At a time when the global scientific consensus demands bold action on climate, Senator Carper has delivered an ambitious and collaborative path forward to achieve net-zero carbon emissions in the United States by 2050,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “The Clean Economy Act proposes pragmatic climate solutions that support hardworking families, create good paying jobs, and address environmental injustices that disproportionately fall upon communities of color and frontline communities. The bill also rightly invests in natural solutions that will sequester carbon naturally, boost community resilience, and provide wildlife habitat.”
“We commend Senator Carper and this strong coalition of environmental champions in the Senate for introducing the Clean Economy Act. This legislation is in line with what science demands and recognizes we must act now. It is critical that our solutions to the climate crisis create good, family-sustaining jobs and reduce locally harmful air pollution. We appreciate the engagement of Senator Carper and his staff across labor, environmental, business and environmental justice experts in developing this legislation. The public is demanding action on the climate crisis and its impacts are harming communities across the country and exacerbating racial and social inequality. This legislation stands in stark contrast to President Trump and Senate Leader McConnell who are harming all of us by doing polluters’ bidding and attempting to block climate action and cut programs critical to our health and our environment,” said Gene Karpinski, President of League of Conservation Voters.
“EDF strongly supports Senator Carper’s Clean Economy Act which is another example of the growing momentum across the Congress for bold climate action,” said Elizabeth Gore, Environmental Defense Fund Senior Vice President of Political Affairs. “By uniting support behind the strong emission reduction target of net-zero climate pollution by 2050, we can increase clean energy development, enhance domestic job creation, advance critical technology innovation, and protect public health.”
“Senator Carper and his colleagues’ legislation puts us on a path to combat the catastrophic effects of climate change, and Earthjustice is proud to support it. It would ensure everyone – especially those living on the front lines of the climate crisis – has the right to live in a healthy community. It’s more important than ever that the United States show willingness to lead if we hope to minimize the impacts of climate change on our communities,” said Abigail Dillen, President of Earthjustice.
“This bill is just what we need to jumpstart climate action at the national level,” said Wendy Wendlandt, Senior VP and Political Director at Environment America. “It will create focus and resolve at federal agencies to address the existential threat of climate change in the way we are seeing at the state level across the country.”
“President Donald Trump’s continued climate denial undermines progress and threatens our future,” said Christy Goldfuss, Senior Vice President of Energy and Environment Policy at the Center for American Progress. “The United States cannot afford to sit on the sidelines any longer, and for the sake of our economy, our national security, and our environment, we must take urgent action to build the clean future that scientists say is necessary. We applaud Sen. Carper for his bold leadership in the Senate moving us toward this future.”
“Moms Clean Air Force’s more than one million members nationwide want bold climate action that will protect the health and future of our children, grandchildren, and future generations,” Moms Clean Air Force Co-Founder & Senior Director Dominique Browning said. “The Clean Economy Act is a major step toward moving to climate safety, and we are grateful for Senator Carper’s leadership. We applaud strong and comprehensive visions for attacking the mother of all pollution problems and addressing the climate crisis.”
“Green The Church supports The Clean Economy Act and thanks Sen. Carper for introducing this bold legislation,” Green The Church endorsed. “Now is the time to tackle climate change and address its impacts especially in black and brown communities where it’s felt the most. The U.S. must move towards a clean energy economy that protects our health, our environment and grows our economy so everyone benefits.”
“Latinos and communities of color have made it clear that the time to act on climate and present bold solutions to address the climate change crisis is now. Over two million Hispanics suffer from asthma and Latino children are more likely to die from an asthma attack than their white, non-Hispanic peers. Our communities cannot wait any longer; time is running out,” Hispanic Access Foundation said. “We applaud and support the Clean Economy Act of 2020, a bill introduced by U.S. Senator Tom Carper. The measure would strengthen America’s growing clean economy and protect the public health of our children and families by achieving net zero carbon pollution across the U.S. economy by no later than 2050 in a fair, equitable and just manner. We urge all senators to advance this legislation and support those most vulnerable and impacted by the effects of climate change.”
Labor Unions and Labor Coalitions
“The Clean Economy Act recognizes the vision set forth in Solidarity for Climate Action, setting a national goal for reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050,” wrote the partners of the BlueGreen Alliance, the coalition of the nation’s largest labor unions and environmental groups. “Additionally, the bill would increase investments in infrastructure and manufacturing with strong job quality and domestic content standards, ensure equitable access to worker training programs, and prioritize investments in frontline and low-income communities and communities impacted by changes in our energy and industrial economic sectors. It also calls for removing policy barriers to union organizing.
“It is a pathway forward that will help build the future that we need—one where there is real action to address the climate crisis and where we seize this opportunity to create a stronger, fairer economy that works for every American,” they continued. See the full letter here.
Public Health Groups
“Climate change is a public health emergency that is harming our health today. These negative health impacts will only get worse unless we act now. To combat this serious threat, we must quickly act to reduce carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions by transitioning to clean, safe and renewable energy sources,” said Georges C. Benjamin, MD, Executive Director of the American Public Health Association. “The Clean Energy Economy Act would ensure we meet this goal by requiring the U.S. to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. It has our full support.”
“Climate change presents an urgent threat to the health of all Americans. The nation must dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and clean up other dangerous air pollution at the same time. We applaud Senator Carper for the strong goal set by this bill and will continue to work to clean up dirty sources that contribute to dangerous air pollution and climate change,” said Harold Wimmer, CEO, American Lung Association.
“The Clean Economy Act of 2020 is of critical importance to the 26 million Americans living with asthma,” said The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America president and CEO, Kenneth Mendez. “Asthma is just one example of the ongoing public health crisis where climate change has direct and immediate negative consequences today. Small particles in the air from industrial pollution, wildfire smoke, ozone, dust and pollen pass through the nose or mouth directly into the lungs of those with asthma and can trigger an asthma attack. As over 3,000 people die from asthma every year, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America thanks Senator Carper for championing this potentially life-saving legislation and including protections for communities of color and low-income populations who have high rates of asthma and are already disproportionally impacted by climate change.”
“The United States has a narrow window of time to take the bold and immediate action required to avoid the most catastrophic impacts of climate change and protect public health now and for future generations. The Clean Economy Act puts public health at the forefront of climate action, especially those most vulnerable to climate impacts. It provides a pathway to reduce sources of pollution that are harming people across the country by transitioning our nation to 100% clean energy. Nurses are calling on our elected leaders to support legislation such as this Act to address climate change at the scale needed for a just and equitable future,” said Katie Huffling, Executive Director at Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments.
“The science is clear. The U.S, and the world, must reach net-zero emissions by 2050 at the latest in order to avoid the worst impacts of the climate crisis,” said Ryan Martel, Senior Director, Federal Policy at Ceres. “Companies and investors across all sectors of the economy are already moving on this call to action by setting their own net-zero science based targets. However, we also need ambitious policies like the Clean Economy Act of 2020 if we are to meet this critical goal and ensure that the U.S. economy thrive as the world transitions to a net-zero future.”
Read more about the Clean Economy Act of 2020 here.