This Week In Climate (In)Action


May 31, 2019

Your weekly resource to learn what the environmental movement is saying about the news of the day and the political fight of our generation. Be sure to follow LCV on Facebook and Twitter.




“We’re taking immediate action to improve our air quality, curb pollution and fight climate change. Our roadmap to achieve 100% renewable energy in Colorado by 2040 will drive innovation and jobs, cleaner air, and save consumers money.”

— Colorado Governor Jared Polis tweeted on Thursday, after signing a historic package of clean energy bills and releasing the administration’s roadmap to 100 percent clean energy by 2040.


“Climate change poses an existential threat to all of us, but the President and the Trump Administration are undermining the science we need to protect our families, our security, and our economy. This isn’t just wrong, it’s dangerous.”

— Senator Chris Coons via Twitter on Tuesday.


“I am convening a climate action summit at the UN in September to mobilise political ambition and accelerate the pursuit of the goals of the 2015 Paris agreement. I am asking world leaders to come not just with speeches but with plans to transform energy, mobility, industry and agriculture.”

— United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres in an op-ed for the Financial Times on Wednesday.




Buzzfeed News: Democrats Want to Make 2020 The Climate Change Election

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Trump administration appeals ruling that blocked Arctic offshore drilling

The New Yorker: Can Beto Bounce Back?

E&E News: Trump admin appeals restoration of Obama-era bans



LCV’s affiliates are hard at work protecting the environment and fighting climate change in the states. Here’s what people are reading across the country:


Denver Post (CO): Gov. Polis signs 7 bills on renewable energy, but what does that mean for Colorado’s energy future?

Nevada Independent: Sisolak signs bill to allow funds for electric school buses in Nevada

Miami Herald (FL): FPL preaches major solar expansion. But only under its control, documents show

AZ Central (AZ): Chevron executive is secretly pushing anti-electric car effort in Arizona

Public News Service (MT): Conservation Scorecard: Failing Grades for Many MT Lawmakers



CLIMATE ON THE TRAIL: 2020 candidates are prioritizing climate change. Check out the Change the Climate website for the latest on what candidates are saying and doing to put climate action front and center.


TRUMP’S WAR ON SCIENCE CONTINUED: This week The New York Times reported that Trump is plotting a new attack on science and the environment. In addition to undoing Obama-era efforts that would drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Trump is eliminating key analysis and projections that help us understand the future impacts of global warming. Alarmingly, government scientific reports, including the National Climate Assessment, will no longer automatically include “worst-case scenario” projections. And if that wasn’t enough, certain scientific assessments will begin to exclude forecasts of climate change damage after 2040, when things could begin to spiral out of control.


WORLD MOVES FORWARD WITHOUT TRUMP: Ahead of a September summit at the United Nations, and the two year anniversary of Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, a UN envoy announced that over 80 countries have signaled that they are ready to commit to more action on climate change. The climate envoy did not indicate which nations will commit to more action. Luis Alfonso de Alba, the United Nations secretary general’s envoy on climate change, said, “We need to step up ambition quite radically. We are not talking about a small incremental approach.”

STATES AND U.S. HOUSE ARE WITH THE WORLD: While the administration continues to obstruct federal climate progress, states continue to fill this leadership void. LCV’s 100 Days of Clean Energy Progress in the States details the successes of 10 clean energy governors, and these governors aren’t alone. State legislatures and the U.S. House are passing legislation too — notably, at the beginning of this month, the U.S. House passed the Climate Action Now Act, which would require the Trump administration to remain in the Paris Climate Agreement.


OFF THE COAST: The Interior Department announced Wednesday that it would appeal an Alaska federal judge’s decision that would prevent the agency from rolling back offshore drilling protections put into place by President Obama. The department has a five-year plan to drill off Alaska’s coast, which is currently on pause.

OUR TAKE: LCV President Gene Karpinski said, “As we argued earlier, and as the district court concluded, President Trump does not have the authority to reverse permanent protections of our waters from offshore drilling — we look forward to defending the district court’s decision at the Ninth Circuit. Offshore drilling and the associated threat of devastating oil spills puts coastal economies and ways of life at risk while worsening the consequences of climate change. LCV will never stop fighting for our waters and the communities that depend on them.”


YOUNG VOTERS WORRY ABOUT CLIMATE: A new GenForward survey from the University of Chicago indicates that 82 percent of people in the U.S. between the ages of 18 to 36 care either “a great deal” or “some” about climate change. Of survey takers, 7 in 10 do not approve of how Trump has handled the issue, and nearly a fifth of young voters report that climate is the most important issue to them.


EXXON REJECTS CLIMATE PROPOSALS: At a meeting on Wednesday, shareholders of ExxonMobil rejected proposals to create a special climate committee and to report how climate change might impact its chemical plant locations on the U.S. Gulf Coast. Despite facing some pressure to move beyond its reliance on oil and gas for profits, ExxonMobil continues its multi-billion-dollar efforts to identify new oil and natural gas reserves.


HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE STATES: While Trump continues to undermine and rollback important environmental protections, state and local leaders are moving forward with climate action and helping us transition to a clean energy economy. Here are some highlights:


STATE TREND — GREEN NEW DEAL(S): In the midst of federal inaction, states and cities are stepping up with their own versions of the Green New Deal. In seven states, as well as in New York City and Los Angeles, there are proposals tied explicitly to the Green New Deal and its aggressive plan to aggressively tackle climate change. These proposals range from evaluating the state impact of the national Green New Deal to ensuring that all electricity comes from carbon-free sources.


COLORADO: This week Governor Jared Polis signed into law a slew of bills to fight climate change and protect public health. One, the Climate Action Plan to Reduce Carbon Pollution, creates science-based targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions and mandates the development of cost-effective regulations to achieve these goals. Polis also unveiled his roadmap to 100% renewable energy, which includes strategies for promoting energy efficiency and expanding zero emission vehicles.

OUR TAKE: Kelly Nordini, Executive Director of Conservation Colorado, said, “The Climate Action Plan ensures that, once again, Colorado is a national leader in the fight against climate change. Thanks to the bold leadership of our pro-conservation trifecta, we now have economy-wide targets for reducing carbon pollution — targets that are critical for cleaning up our air, protecting our health, and preserving our Colorado way of life.”


CONNECTICUT: On Tuesday, the Connecticut House passed a bill mandating the teaching of climate change in public schools. Republicans did everything they could to block the bill, with one state representative arguing that climate change “is not as important as reading, writing and arithmetic.” The bill to teach the science and urgency of climate change to communities across the state now heads to the Senate.



June 1 – Two years since Trump announced his decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement

June 26-27 – First Democratic primary debates

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