We are at a turning point in our country’s history, where circumstances are forcing us to redefine what we stand for—and to get involved in advocating for those changes. It has never been more important to make sure climate is part of that picture, and we are asking this industry to play a vital role in making that case to Congress this fall.
As Harold Hedelman from Business Climate Leaders, recently said to me, “If we’ve learned anything from COVID, it’s that we cannot wait. Waiting is fatal.” Sadly, this graph shows just how long we have been waiting to act on the looming threat of climate change and the dire situation it has created.
Had we begun reducing carbon pollution more than twenty or even ten years ago, this line could have been gradual, manageable, and less costly. Now, every year that we delay action, the steeper the curve grows and the more difficult and costly the challenge—and the more painful the impacts.
Why does this matter now? Because how we respond to COVID will define a great deal of economic and social policy in the U.S. for the coming years, and we can’t afford to leave climate out of that picture. Voluntary action by businesses and individuals is simply not enough. We have waited too long. The thousands of scientists of the UN IPCC have made it crystal clear; we must halve emissions by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050. We need to scale quickly to economy-wide change and that means policy.
At some point there will be a vaccine for COVID. There will never be a vaccine for climate change.
That’s why right now, as our leaders are planning trillions of dollars of investments in the economic recovery, they need to hear from every one of us that we can and must revive our economy by prioritizing investments that will also put us on a path to climate recovery. That means investing in clean energy and transportation and green infrastructure and those efforts which help our most vulnerable and front-line communities. It means that we do not bail out the dying fossil fuel industry and instead we invest in the future. These actions and many more can create jobs, revive our economy, reduce risk, AND greenhouse gas emissions while increasing our resilience and preparedness for climate events.
This will not happen without a groundswell of action from the American people—including you.
We need YOU to use your influence as business leaders to advocate for a climate smart recovery— and we are going to make it easy for you to act. Whether you are an old pro at knocking on doors on Capitol Hill, or a newbie for whom signing a petition is more your speed, over the coming months we will be providing opportunities for you to use your voice to convince our nation’s leaders to act.
The time is now and we need YOU to step-up to make sure that we do everything we can to prevent the next looming threat from decimating our lives and our economy. We CAN solve this if we act NOW.
What can you do?
- Sign-up here for our August 6 on-line training to learn what you can do and hone your advocacy skills. No prior experience is necessary!
- Click here to tell us “YES! Put our company to work for a climate smart recovery.”
- Has your company made a commitment to climate policy with the Climate Collaborative? Isn’t it time? If you don’t see your company listed here, then sign-on here!
What are you waiting for? Let’s get the job done and put our nation on a path to a cleaner, safer, brighter future for all.
Written by Nancy Hirshberg, Climate Collaborative Co-Founder.