STATEMENT: House Select Committee Delivers a Plan To Avert U.S. Climate Crisis

Washington, D.C. — Today, the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis released a plan to tackle climate change by transitioning to a 100 percent clean energy economy while dismantling the racial and economic injustices that exacerbate the worst impacts of environmental degradation. In response, Neera Tanden, president and CEO of the Center for American Progress, said:

This year has laid bare the myriad ways in which our government is failing to protect Americans. It has failed to protect Black Americans from violence and racist policies. It has failed to protect frontline workers from a deadly pandemic. Now, we cannot fail to protect people from the looming impacts of climate change. President Donald Trump has turned his back on the advice of experts and the well-being of our communities, but the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis has developed a strikingly comprehensive plan to put Americans to work while investing in the economy of the future. Now is the time to reverse the injustices of the past and chart a course to a cleaner, safer future for our children and our planet.

John Podesta, founder of the Center for American Progress, said:

President Trump is putting our future at risk by calling climate change a hoax; refusing to listen to the scientists, experts, and military leaders who recognize that climate change is a threat; and ordering the rollback of 98 key environmental protections so that fossil fuel industries can continue to release unlimited carbon pollution into the atmosphere. We need a strategy for tackling the climate crisis that rebuilds our economy, saves nature from destruction, and works to right the racial injustices in our system. The plan released today by the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis charts a bold, ambitious, equitable, and just path toward a future with a 100 percent clean energy economy that works for all Americans.

Christy Goldfuss, senior vice president for Energy and Environment at the Center for American Progress, said:

We are excited by today’s introduction of a bold and detailed plan to guide the United States to a 100 percent clean future and avert climate catastrophe. The House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis shows that building an economy that protects clean air, nature, and public health while advancing racial and environmental justice is not only a worthy goal, but also an achievable and necessary step toward creating a planet that is safe for future generations. The task before us may well require levels of investment never before seen in American history. We must use every tool in the policy playbook, including clean energy, sustainable transportation, and natural solutions—but this is a nation of firsts, and our communities will rise to the challenge. Tomorrow will be better if we agree to make it so.

The Select Committee report sets a target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions nationwide by 2050 and net-negative thereafter, goals explored in CAP’s October 2019 report, “A 100% Clean Energy Future.” The report also recommends making significant long-term investments in undoing the toxic legacy of environmental racism in this country, underscoring how equitable and just policies to address climate change will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and toxic pollution in communities of color while creating good-paying jobs. The report further makes notable mention of the role that nature can and must play in solving the climate crisis, with a recommendation to protect 30 percent of America’s lands and waters by 2030—an idea first put forth in CAP’s publication “How Much Nature Should America Keep?

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