Climate Change

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Climate change is one of the most serious issues facing our nation and our planet. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the leading international body for the assessment of climate change, has stated with greater than 90 percent certainty that most of the observed increase in global temperatures since the mid-20th Century is due to increased concentrations of heat-trapping gases caused by human activities. Rep. Eshoo believes that our nation must take immediate action to address climate change, and she strongly believes that science should be the guide for making informed policy decisions.


The Problem

The 2012 calendar year was the hottest on record in the United States, and in 2013, the earth passed 400 parts per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere for the first time in millions of years. If concentrations of greenhouse gases are not stabilized, there will be an even greater increase in temperatures and severe environmental consequences including: a rise in sea levels; the loss of snow-pack; a thaw of the permafrost; higher ocean temperatures and increased ocean acidity; more intense hurricanes; stronger storms; longer droughts and more severe flooding; and mass extinction of plant and animal species. Some of these effects are already being observed; others are inevitable.

Global warming not only intensifies extreme weather—it threatens our security, economy, and quality of life. In May 2012, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said, “the area of climate change has a dramatic impact on national security.” And this is not new information.

In 2008, as Chair of the House Intelligence Community Management Subcommittee, Rep. Eshoo held a joint hearing with Chairman Markey’s House Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. Testimony at the hearing made clear that climate change will exacerbate existing global problems and destabilize national security, as well as produce resource shortages, droughts, and extreme weather events. It will fall on the shoulders of the U.S. and our allies to address many of these issues.


Rep. Eshoo believes that we can prevent some of the worst results if we act to curb our emissions and adopt policies that promote activities to combat climate change. She has heard from hundreds of companies, entrepreneurs, and individuals that are ready to develop the next clean energy technologies and designs. Rep. Eshoo supports capping or putting a price on carbon; increasing vehicle fuel efficiency; conserving energy in buildings; investing in clean public transportation; and expanding alternative forms of energy that do not emit greenhouse gases.

As a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the Bicameral Task Force on Climate Change, Rep. Eshoo’s work and votes in Congress are directed toward advancing these policies.

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