New Climate Report Raises Stakes on 2018 Elections

New Climate Report Raises Stakes on 2018 Elections
A polar bear drifts on a melted glacier.
A polar bear drifts on a melted glacier. (Photo: NASA’s Oceans Melting Greenland mission)

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) gathered in South Korea this week and delivered a dire warning: unless unprecedented steps are taken by the world’s governments to reduce emissions in the next decade, our planet will warm by 1.5°C above average by 2040 and open the door to exponentially worse climate disruptions in the second half of the 21st century.

Put simply, we’re running out of time to prevent the worst impacts of a rapidly warming planet.

These findings reinforce the urgent need for climate champions in Congress, and the importance of the 2018 midterm elections in paving the way for renewed federal and international climate leadership. The NRDC Action Fund is fighting to support more than 20 endorsed Senate candidates, including Rep. Jacky Rosen in Nevada, Sen. Bill Nelson in Florida, and Rep. Beto O’Rourke in Texas. Each of these candidates are strong advocates for American leadership on climate change, and each has made advocating for expanded renewable energy generation a key part of their platform:

  • Jacky Rosen: “Jacky is committed to Nevada’s leadership on solar and other forms of renewable energy. As the former president of Nevada’s largest synagogue, Jacky led a team to build one of the largest solar projects by a nonprofit in the city of Henderson, cutting energy costs by up to 70 percent. That’s why she opposes the Trump Administration’s misguided efforts to drag us backwards and dismantle the Clean Power Plan. As the threat of climate change looms, she will continue advocating for action that reduces carbon pollution, defends our clean air and water, and promotes clean energy jobs.”
  • Bill Nelson: “Bill… is at the forefront of efforts in the Senate to help Florida communities invest in the infrastructure needed to create more resilient coastlines to prepare for rising sea levels. He is leading the push to help renewable energy companies grow across Florida, while making it easier for homeowners to invest in solar installations.”
  • Beto O’Rourke: “It is crucial now more than ever that the U.S. and world leaders act urgently to address the issue of climate change…. [by] incentivizing the innovation of new and renewable sources of energy, rejoining the Paris Climate Accords, and empowering the EPA to exercise oversight of those harming the environment, particularly drilling, fracking, and pipeline construction.”

Limiting warming to 1.5°C is possible, according to Jim Skea, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group III, as long as elected officials are ready to accept the challenge and work to change the way society generates and consumes energy. These three candidates, and the rest of our endorsees, are up to the task. (You can learn more about our candidates and support their campaigns on GiveGreen.)

The majority of Americans want Congress to do more to address climate change. On November 6th, it is paramount that we elect officials who will follow the will of the people and have the courage to act.