Dear Senator Sinema,
We are writing to express our concern about the unprecedented damages from climate change which were documented in the latest IPCC AR6 report. The Biden Administration announced the new US NDC to reduce CO2 emissions by 50% relative to 2005 levels by 2030, but the Congress and Senate are still debating the Infrastructure and Reconciliation Bills which will determine whether the science-based solutions to the climate crisis will be addressed with the needed urgency. The time to act is now.
There are some specific provisions in the Reconciliation bill which are absolutely essential and which we urge you to support.
● Clean Electricity Performance Program incentives for electric utilities to use wind and solar power and tax incentives for clean energy
● Provisions aimed at helping economically disadvantaged people adapt to the effects of climate change
● A Green Bank for construction of community solar panels and electric vehicle charging stations
● Civilian Climate Corps encouraging young adults to pursue climate work
● Program to incentivize rural electric cooperatives to switch from coal to wind and solar
Arizona is particularly susceptible to damages from climate change, as detailed in the recent Environmental Defense Fund report. For example, heat-related deaths are expected to rise further, as temperature records are broken. This past year, temperatures reached or exceeded 100 oF in Phoenix on 144 days, a new state record. Electricity bills will climb, with residents and businesses burdened over the next 20 years, disproportionately impacting low-income households. Cotton production, a nearly half-billion dollar crop in the state, will likely decline. And water scarcity will become a major regional problem as the water supply from the Colorado River declines further.
The non-partisan MIT Alumni for Climate Action group has provided 'A Roadmap for Responding to Climate Change' with six recommendations: Enact Net-zero or Carbon-neutral Legislation; Replace Fossil Fuels with Carbon-free Energy; Electrify and Decarbonize Transportation Systems; Improve the Efficiency of Buildings and Communities; Reform Land Management and Agricultural Practices; and Promote R&D into Carbon Capture, Zero-Carbon Fuels, and Other Technologies. Central to these recommendations is a Climate Action Authority to coordinate the US national effort. The Roadmap recommendations are in line with the needs of citizens and with the current proposal before congress. We strongly encourage you to support these necessary and valuable climate goals.
Arizonans and indeed, all Americans need your full support of the climate bills before Congress and which are consistent with the recommendations of the Roadmap, the IPCC, and EDF report. You are in an ideal position to make a positive difference to the lives of our citizens, especially the young and future generations of our state. We strongly encourage you to take the righteous position on the upcoming climate legislation.