Washington, D.C. — While the federal government has failed to lead on climate change, state and local governments have stepped up to create polices for a just and inclusive clean energy economy, according to a new issue brief from the Center for American Progress and the League of Conservation Voters (LCV).
CAP and LCV are also hosting an online event on Thursday, April 30, to discuss successful state leadership to combat the climate crisis and what it means for future federal climate action.
Currently, 15 states and territories have taken legislative or executive action to move toward a 100 percent clean energy future. This includes 10 states, along with Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, that have passed legislation to implement 100 percent clean electricity policies and economywide greenhouse gas pollution-reduction programs.
“America needs leadership at every level of government to commit to bold climate action,” said Sam Ricketts, a senior fellow for Energy and Environment at CAP and co-author of the brief. “The federal government must get back in the game, and it should use the lessons offered by state and local success to create a transformative agenda to stop climate change and build a just and inclusive American clean energy economy.”
States have led the way in limiting carbon pollution; promoting clean power; expanding electric vehicles, transit, and smart growth; and crafting clean buildings, industrial, and agricultural policies. Several state and local governments have also taken steps to address environmental and economic injustices. This includes identifying and reducing disproportionately high levels of pollution in economically disadvantaged communities and communities of color, as well as targeting investments to these communities. And states have promoted the creation of high-quality jobs in clean energy sectors and supported workers and communities that have been historically dependent upon fossil fuel industries.
“While Trump continues to ignore the advice of experts and roll back environmental protections that put the health of our communities — especially low income communities and communities of color — at further risk in the middle of a global pandemic, governors are leading the way to a safe and healthy clean energy future,” said Bill Holland, senior director for State Advocacy and Policy at LCV. “As we consider what a post-pandemic world could look like, Congress should take note from the states and invest in clean, renewable energy now.”
Read the issue brief: “States Are Laying a Road Map for Climate Leadership” by Sam Ricketts, Rita Cliffton, Lola Oduyeru, Bill Holland
For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Sam Hananel at gro.ssergorpnacirema@lenanahs.