Last week the House Energy and Commerce Committee passed H.R. 2454 -the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES) marking the first time a legitimate climate bill has advanced this far in the House.
The bill itself is a big first step in the direction of capping carbon pollution that causes global warming. The bill would cut greenhouse gas emissions by 17% by 2020 and 42% by 2030 as well as promote renewable energy and energy efficiency. It is an effort long overdue. Scientists project that carbon emissions already released to the atmosphere will cause sea levels to rise, mountain snowpack to melt, oceans to acidify, storms to worsen and floods and droughts to be more severe. Were we to do nothing, a recent study showed the Earth's surface temperature could rise by nearly 10 degrees by 2100. Substantial dedicated funding for adaptation provisions are essential in order to safeguard wildlife and other natural resources from these impacts.
The American Clean Energy and Security Act includes funding allocation for natural resources adaptation that is sourced by the sale of emissions allowances. The annual percentage directed to wildlife adaptation would start at 1% in 2012 and rise incrementally to 4% in 2027. That would be a projected $4.52B based on EPA modelling of allowance prices. The funding is critical to putting programs in place to safeguard species. While it's in the bill as it's currently written, a lot can change before it becomes law.
The bill is expected to go before the full House before the August recess but could be modified in part in as many as 6 committees with authority over portions of the bill before then. The Senate isn't likely to move on it until late fall and it faces a tough battle there. It's important that your member of Congress knows you support natural resources adaptation provisions with adequate dedicated funding.
Call your member of Congress today and urge them to support H.R. 2454's natural resources adaptation provisions with adequate dedicated funding.
You can reach your member of Congress by calling the US Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121.
For more information about safeguarding species in a warming world visit the ESC website.