With a new Congress in office, it’s crucial that we keep up the pressure for our government to take bold action on climate, jobs, and justice. With the recent news that U.S. carbon emissions spiked 3.4 percent in 2018, reversing years of decline, it’s clear we can’t just wait for solutions.
This spike makes it clear that we can’t trust unregulated market forces to save us from climate change, as some have naively suggested. The only way forward is bold, smart policy at the federal, state, and local level. Our elected leaders must respond to the urgent threat of climate change with bold concrete and comprehensive policies, such as a Green New Deal, that reduce the emissions that cause global warming while also creating millions of good union, family-sustaining jobs to ensure no community is left behind.
We need to make massive investments in transitioning to a 100 percent clean and renewable energy economy, making our buildings more energy efficient, expanding public and mass transportation systems for every American, and ensuring that every community has access to clean air and water. And given the political paralysis in Washington, state and local leaders need to show the way forward and make change happen now in their communities.
Those left homeless or worse by the hurricanes and wildfires of the last year know that the effects of climate change are here now. We can prevent more tragedy and create new living-wage jobs if our elected leaders will just listen to the overwhelming majority of voters who want action.