The climate crisis already is harming communities across America. The costs and impacts to the United States in the coming decades could exceed hundreds of billions of dollars annually. To limit global warming to no more than 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, global net carbon pollution must fall by roughly 45% below 2010 levels by 2030 and must ultimately reach net zero by mid-century. Developed countries may need to reach this target even sooner.
To meet this aggressive goal, the U.S. government needs to lead an ambitious transition to clean energy and resilience that puts Americans to work, builds a just economy, unleashes American ingenuity, and prepares communities for the impacts of climate change. This transition must involve local, state, and tribal governments, businesses, academic institutions, non-profits, and all residents of the United States, including a rising generation of young people who are demanding climate action now.
The U.S. House of Representatives created the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis to “investigate, study, make findings, and develop recommendations on policies, strategies, and innovations to achieve substantial and permanent reductions in pollution and other activities that contribute to the climate crisis, which will honor our responsibility to be good stewards of the planet for future generations.”
The Select Committee has received recommendations from young climate leaders, policy specialists, business leaders, and state and local officials at meetings and hearings held in Washington, D.C. and around the country. To supplement our ongoing work, the Select Committee is seeking additional detailed input from a broad range of stakeholders.
To inform the policy recommendations of the Select Committee, please provide responses to the questions below by November 22, 2019 by emailing ClimateCrisisRFI@mail.house.gov. *This request is optional, and you need only reply to the questions that are relevant to your organization or expertise. Please submit your response as both a Word document and PDF.*
1. What policies should Congress adopt to decarbonize the following sectors consistent with meeting or exceeding net-zero emissions by mid-century? Where possible, please provide analytical support that demonstrates that the recommended policies achieve the goal.
b. Electric power. The Select Committee would like policy ideas across the electricity sector but requests specific comment on two areas:
i. If you recommend a Clean Energy Standard, how should it be designed?
ii. How can Congress expedite the permitting and siting of high-voltage interstate transmission lines to carry renewable energy to load centers.
2. What policies should Congress adopt to ensure that the United States is a leader in innovative manufacturing clean technologies; creating new, family-sustaining jobs in these sectors; and supporting workers during the decarbonization transition?
3. What policies should Congress adopt to ensure that environmental justice is integral to any plan to decarbonize these sectors?
4. Carbon Pricing:
a. What role should carbon pricing play in any national climate action plan to meet or exceed net zero by mid-century, while also minimizing impacts to low- and middle-income families, creating family-sustaining jobs, and advancing environmental justice? Where possible, please provide analytical support to show that the recommended policies achieve these goals.
b. How could sectoral-specific policies, outlined in questions 1-3, complement a carbon pricing program?
a. Where should Congress focus an innovation agenda for climate solutions? Please identify specific areas for federal investment and, where possible, recommend the scale of investment needed to achieve results in research, development and deployment.
b. How can Congress incentivize more public-private partnerships and encourage more private investment in clean energy innovation?
6. What policies should Congress adopt to reduce carbon pollution and other greenhouse gas emissions and maximize carbon storage in agriculture?
7. What policies should Congress adopt to help farmers, ranchers, and natural resource managers adapt to the impacts of climate change?
Oceans, Forestry and Public Lands
8. How should Congress update the laws governing management of federal lands, forests, and oceans to accelerate climate adaptation, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and maximize carbon storage?
Non-CO2 Greenhouse Gases
9. What policies should Congress adopt to reduce emissions of non-CO2 greenhouse gases, including methane, nitrous oxide, and fluorinated gases?
10. How can Congress accelerate development and deployment of carbon removal technology to help achieve negative emissions?
Resilience and Adaptation
11. What policies should Congress adopt to help communities become more resilient in response to climate change? The Select Committee welcomes all ideas on resilience and adaptation but requests comments on three specific questions:
a. What adjustments to federal disaster policies should Congress consider to reduce the risks and costs of extreme weather and other effects of climate change that can no longer be avoided?
b. How can Congress better identify and reduce climate risks for front-line communities, including ensuring that low and moderate-income populations and communities that suffer from racial discrimination can effectively grapple with climate change?
c. What standards and codes should Congress consider for the built environment to ensure federally-supported buildings and infrastructure are built to withstand the current and projected effects of climate change?
Climate Information Support
12. Our understanding and response to the climate crisis has relied on U.S. climate observations, monitoring and research, including regular assessment reports such as the National Climate Assessment. What policies should Congress adopt to maintain and expand these efforts in order to support solutions to the climate crisis and provide decisionmakers – and the American people – with the information they need? Where possible, recommend the scale of investment needed to achieve results.
13. The climate crisis requires a global response. U.S. leadership is critical for successful global solutions. What policies should Congress adopt to support international action on the climate crisis?
In addition to your responses to any of these questions, please include any other specific policies that you think Congress should adopt to solve the climate crisis and adapt to the impacts of climate change.
Note: The Select Committee may choose to publish your responses in whole or in part. All responses will become part of the permanent committee record in the National Archives.