Report Outlines How Climate Action Will Grow the Economy, Improve Lives for Americans Across the Country
Read the Full Report: Democrats.Senate.Gov/Climate-Report
Haxtun – Today, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), and members of the Senate Democrats’ Special Committee on the Climate Crisis released a comprehensive report titled, “The Case for Climate Action: Building a Clean Economy for the American People.” Members of the committee include Committee Chair Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), and U.S. Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), and Tina Smith (D-Minn.).
The new report – which comes after dozens of hearings, meetings, and input from experts, labor unions, mayors, environmental justice leaders, and native communities, among others – details how bold climate action from Congress can create millions of new jobs, grow the American economy, and improve people’s lives across the country.
The Committee’s report calls on Congress to:
- Reduce U.S. emissions rapidly to achieve 100 percent global net-zero emissions no later than 2050;
- Stimulate economic growth by increasing federal spending on climate action to at least 2 percent of GDP annually — and ensure that at least 40 percent of the benefits from these investments help communities of color and low-income, deindustrialized, and disadvantaged communities; and
- Create at least 10 million new jobs.
“In Colorado, we know the cost of inaction on climate change all too well — longer droughts and worsening wildfires hurt our environment and our economy. Following the 2008 recession, clean energy investments boosted Colorado's rural and urban economies, and we have an enormous opportunity to recover from our current economic crisis by unleashing climate solutions once again,” said Bennet. “The report we're releasing today is clear: there are bold and enduring solutions to tackle climate change, and it is time to act on them. We can create 10 million high-paying jobs, boost rural and agricultural communities, tackle environmental injustices, reinvigorate American manufacturing, and reestablish U.S. leadership around the world. And the only way to ensure these solutions last beyond one administration to benefit future generations is by building a broad coalition of support.”
“The climate crisis is not some distant threat. It is here now, and it will be catastrophic if we don’t strike back immediately. Over the next few decades, climate change will affect every part of American life: our health, our economy, our national security, even our geography. Democrats are committed to working—decisively and aggressively—to avoid the steep human and economic costs of a worsening climate crisis, and to guide the transition to a low carbon economy,” said Schumer.
“Our committee stitched together a political coalition across demographic, geographic, and ideological boundaries,” said Schatz. “We don’t have to keep losing on climate – the work we’ve done shows that we can unite Americans and finally get this done.”
Along with a group of his colleagues, Bennet established the Senate Democrats’ Special Committee on the Climate Crisis in March 2019. The committee was tasked with investigating, holding hearings, and issuing findings on the economic and national security consequences of climate change and how climate action presents significant opportunities for jobs, public health, and the economy. Since March 2019, the committee held 10 public hearings, convened 10 in-depth meetings with experts, and connected with a broad array of constituencies – in person and through targeted outreach.
In his work as a member of both the Senate Democrats’ Committee on the Climate Crisis and the bipartisan Senate Climate Solutions Caucus, Bennet has worked to ensure conservation and agriculture are a part of any solution to the climate crisis, engaging rural communities, farmers, and ranchers in the conversation. As Ranking Member of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee’s Subcommittee on Conservation, Forestry, and Natural Resources, Bennet helped author the 2014 Farm Bill and the 2018 Farm Bill, which provide tools for climate adaptation and mitigation, and support innovative practices that store carbon, improve soil health, and increase profitability.
Bennet is a leader on climate, championing policies that implement forward-looking measures to combat the growing threat of climate change. In February, Bennet joined his colleagues in introducing the Clean Economy Act, legislation that would put the United States on a path to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by no later than 2050. In December 2019, Bennet released a discussion draft of legislation to establish a new tax credit for farmers and ranchers, state and local governments, and tribal governments, to sequester carbon in agriculture, forestry, rangelands, and wetlands.
Under the current administration, Bennet has fought rollbacks of climate policies, including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) methane rule, the BLM Methane and Waste Prevention Rule, the Paris Agreement, the Clean Power Plan, and fuel economy standards, as well as cuts to the EPA’s budget. In July, Bennet and a group of his colleagues criticized the Trump Administration’s changes that substantially understate the costs of climate change.