Climate Change Update: Mr. Cooper Goes to Washington
He may be more Andy Griffith than Jimmy Stewart, but last Wednesday, North Carolina’s Mr. Cooper spoke truth to Congress about the dangers climate change is posing to our state.
Gov. Cooper told the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources about the massive damages from three “500-year” hurricanes hitting North Carolina in the last 20 years, including two in the last three years. They show that the massive property loss and disruption of lives resulting from ongoing climate change are already hurting our state to the tune of tens of billions of dollars in damage from Hurricane Florence alone.
Cooper told the committee, “When storms are becoming more destructive, it’s not enough to pick up the pieces. We must take action to prevent this kind of devastation in the future. I urge this Congress and all our federal partners to match the same level of determination brought to disaster recovery in our fight to reduce the effects of climate change.”
As examples of action from the state level, Cooper cited his executive order that North Carolina cut its greenhouse gas emissions at least 40% by 2025, and his support for the Paris climate accords. He asked members of Congress to support “federal legislation and regulations that promote emission reductions and the preservation of forests, marshes, barrier islands and other natural infrastructure that protect communities from the worsening effects of storms.” He also joined other governors in opposing oil and gas drilling off the Atlantic coast.
Cooper further touted North Carolina action on solar energy development and limits to emissions from coal-fired power plants, and called for more aggressive action at the federal level in support of clean energy alternatives.
His message made clear that states like ours understand that we cannot afford to move backwards on climate change, contrary to the attitude of the Trump Administration, and that Congress must join the states in taking the lead on climate action.
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