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Climate Change

Global climate change is one of the most serious threats facing our nation and our planet today.
   Increasingly severe consequences are projected for more people and more regions of the world unless we act now—as individuals, as communities, and as a nation.
   The League of Women Voters for its part is calling for prompt action to cut this country's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, invest in a clean energy economy, and help the world's poorest countries tackle the challenges of climate change.
   We are working to
   • help people in our community learn what we can do at the individual and household levels to save energy and reduce our carbon footprint,
   • help set emissions-reduction goals in the community and then develop and implement a plan to achieve those goals, and
   • build grassroots support for strong action on climate change at the state and federal levels, including support for U.S. compliance with the Paris Agreement reached in December 2015.

Carbon Pricing

The League has focused on carbon pricing—the concept of carbon fee and dividend. The League supports the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, H.R.763, which was introduced in the House in January 2019 with bipartisan support and referred to three committees—Ways and Means, Energy & Commerce, and Foreign Affairs. It is likely to get serious attention in the House but is unlikely to pass the Senate.

There are two methods of putting a price on carbon—cap-and-trade and carbon tax—and the League supports both.

H.R.763 is a carbon taxIt imposes a fee on the carbon content of fuels, including crude oil, natural gas, coal, or any other product derived from those fuels that will be used so as to emit greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Read more here

The real action on carbon pricing is in the states. Cap-and-trade is thriving, but carbon tax is a hard sell. In light of the U.S. federal government's current retreat from the fight against climate change, strong climate action at the state and local levels is more important then ever.

Read more in the blog "What can you do to fight climate change?" by a League member in California. 

Our LWVUS Position on Climate Change

Beginning in the 1960s LWV members studied, reached consensus positions and took action on many Natural Resources issues related to climate change, including environmental protection, pollution control, and air quality.
    But those positions, pre-dating the public's general awareness of climate change, do not mention it explicitly
   In January 2019, our LWVUS board crafted the following position language to summarize League's longstanding commitment to climate action: 
Climate Change; The League believes that climate change is a serious threat facing our nation and planet. 
   The League believes that an international approach to combating climate change — including through energy conservation, air pollution controls, building resilience, and promotion of renewable resources — is necessary to protect public health and defend the overall integrity of the global ecosystem. 
   The League supports climate goals and policies that are consistent with the best available climate science and that will ensure a stable climate system for future generations. Individuals, communities, and governments must continue to address this issue, while considering the ramifications of their decisions, at all levels — local, state, regional, national, and global.

Green New Deal

As momentum built atound the country for the Green New Deal proposal (H.Res.109) the national League in early 2019 joined with 600 other organizations in calling on Congress to consider a bold agenda. Read the letter here.

For further information
The LWV Toolkit for Climate Action includes information on relevant law, state and federal initiatives, guidance for advocacy on the issue, and much more. Check it out!

                                       Photo by Diego PH on Unsplash