Pro News

Greens tout early victories in midterms, press for more climate action

BY: KELSEY TAMBORRINO | 11/09/2022 04:49 PM EST

Green groups called on Democrats to press ahead with ambitious environmental policies after they outperformed forecasts in the midterm elections, which they said showed voters’ support for climate action and the party’s Inflation Reduction Act that included massive investments in clean energy.

“Regardless of who holds the state power, we will continue the path forward toward a just and equitable, clean energy future through the implementation of these historic investments,” Ramón Cruz, the president of the Sierra Club, told reporters on a call Wednesday.

Control of the House and Senate remains up in the air with vote counting still underway in states like Nevada, Georgia and Arizona. But climate advocates cheered the Democratic victories in several states, including gubernatorial victories in Maryland and Michigan, state races that flipped legislatures in Minnesota and Michigan, and surprising strength in U.S. Senate and House contests in Virginia, New Hampshire and Colorado.

League of Conservation Voters President Gene Karpinski told reporters the “three most important paths forward” to cutting carbon pollution rely on implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act, bold executive action from President Joe Biden and progress at the state-level — none of which rely on Congress.

“The progress we need to make implementing the bill, executive action on steroids and progress in the states will continue, even if (Republicans) are in charge of the House,” he said.

Details: NRDC Action Fund President Manish Bapna urged Democrats to use the lame-duck session to cement additional action, such as increasing the U.S. financial contributions to help accelerate climate action in the developing world.

Finance for the developing world has emerged as a critical issue as world leaders meet this week in Egypt for COP27. Rich countries are lagging on a 2009 commitment to deliver $100 billion in financing to the developing countries, and Biden has pledged to work with Congress to lift U.S. support to more than $11 billion per year.

“If the House flips, this might be the last opportunity in the immediate future to fulfill that pledge that the United States made a very long time ago,” Bapna said.

He added that Democratic wins in governors’ and state offices on Tuesday can provide an opening for those states to match Biden’s targets to create renewable portfolio standards in states to generate 100 percent clean energy by 2035. And he pointed to the potential for additional state-level actions to benefit electric vehicles, ambitious industrial decarbonization policies and steps to replicate “Justice40” initiatives at the state-level to ensure benefits flow to environmental justice communities.

Background: Several environmental groups committed earlier this year to spending $100 million on the midterm elections — a target they said Wednesday they exceeded.

Copy link
Powered by Social Snap