Climate change is one of the most serious issues facing our nation and our planet. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the leading international body for the assessment of climate change has stated with greater than 95 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 the United States must take immediate action to address climate change, and she strongly believes that established science should be the guide for making informed policy decisions.
The last five years have been the hottest on record. 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. The IPCC has warned that unless we act now to curb greenhouse gas emissions, 50 million people will be displaced by rising sea levels; 350 million people will endure severe drought; and more than a billion people will experience extreme heat waves by 2040.
Global warming not only intensifies extreme weather—it also threatens our national security, our economy, and our quality of life. As former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said, “the area of climate change has a dramatic impact on national security.”
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 now. She has heard from hundreds of companies, entrepreneurs, and individuals that are ready to develop the next clean energy technologies and designs. She supports 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. She is a strong supporter of the Paris Climate Agreement and was a Member appointed to the official House delegation to Paris, but was forced to stay in Washington, D.C. for votes.
As a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the Bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus, Rep. Eshoo’s work and votes in Congress are directed toward advancing policies to address climate change. The legislation she supports include:
- Climate Action Now Act: Prohibits the President from withdrawing from the landmark Paris Agreement.
- Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act: Creates a steadily rising carbon fee and returns the revenues to Americans as a dividend. This is estimated to reduce carbon emissions by 90 percent by 2050 and offset the cost of higher energy prices for consumers.
- Electric CARS Act: Extends the tax credit to help consumers purchase electric vehicles for 10 years.