As corporate lobbyists and conservative politicians strive to maintain a pollution-based economy, a new progressive alliance has formed to fight back. The Climate Equity Alliance is calling for policies to ensure that energy legislation reaches President Obama’s desk benefiting people instead of polluters. The green economy legislation introduced in draft form by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES) — sets national standards for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and global warming pollution — but leaves open whether polluters will be subsidized to achieve those standards.
Today, more than two dozen organizations from the research, advocacy, faith-based, labor and civil rights communities came together as the Climate Equity Alliance. Alliance members include the Center for American Progress, Green for All, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, and the Service Employees International Union. Their principles recognize that clean energy legislation needs to be sustainable, honest, and fair:
– Protect people and the planet: Limit carbon emissions at a level and timeline that science dictates.
– Maximize the gain: Build an inclusive green economy providing pathways into prosperity and expanding opportunity for America’s workers and communities.
– Minimize the pain: Assist low and moderate income families in meeting their basic needs.
– Shore up resilience to climate impacts: Assure that those who are most vulnerable to the direct effects of climate change are able to prepare and adapt.
– Ease the transition: Address the impacts of economic change for workers and communities.
– Put a price on global warming pollution and invest in solutions: Capture the value of carbon emissions for public purposes and invest this resource in an equitable transition to a clean energy economy.
The Climate Equity Alliance’s recognition that attention needs to be paid to global boiling impacts is critical, as every state in the nation already suffers from major climate-related costs — costs which will continue to rise as the planet heats up. The full list of members is below.
The alliance specifically calls for “public and private investments that help rebuild and retrofit our nation,” “training and job readiness programs,” “direct consumer rebates” to low- and moderate-income households, “assistance and tools” for workers in carbon-intense industries, and the use of carbon price revenues to invest in the public good, instead of “windfall profits for corporations.” Read more