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Recent Floods, Wildfires, Disasters Highlight Need for Serious Debate, Not Partisan Games Around Addressing the Climate Crisis

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congress needs to focus on workable, bipartisan solutions to our climate crisis rather than focusing on scoring political points, the National Wildlife Federation said today. The emerging debate in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives follows on recent catastrophic wildfires, hurricanes and typhoons, flooding and severe weather, heatwaves and record high temperatures, and other signs of our rapidly changing climate.

“As the Senate debates a procedural motion, floodwaters cover large stretches of Nebraska and Iowa; hurricane victims in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Texas and Puerto Rico still wait for assistance; communities ravaged by wildfires in California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana are still struggling to recover; and communities across the southwest prepare for another year of extreme drought. We absolutely cannot afford to waste any more time on partisan gamesmanship,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “The scientific consensus is crystal clear that we desperately need to achieve deep economy-wide emission reductions in the next decade and dramatically improve community resilience to escalating impacts. The only way we’re going to make any progress in the near-term, during this era of divided government, is by having statesmen and stateswomen find common ground and forge bipartisan solutions.”

The National Wildlife Federation and O’Mara have also advocated for innovative solutions to tackle the climate crisis, including in a recently published USA Today op-ed that highlighted several ways to address climate change through policies that work for all Americans.

A near-term opportunity for significant emissions reductions can come through bolstering natural infrastructure and investing in climate-smart, technology-inclusive power generation technologies and transportation infrastructure.

The climate crisis is one of the most severe challenges facing the world. The National Wildlife Federation urged lawmakers to act swiftly to pass legislation to address climate change and the impacts it has on our economic security, human health and the well-being of wildlife across the nation. House Democrats are heeding the call with plans this week to introduce a climate change proposal to uphold U.S. commitments under the Paris Agreement.

The National Wildlife Federation is working to integrate climate solutions into a range of proposals before Congress this year. It also works to support a carbon fee as an economically sound, market-based idea to encourage utilities, businesses and individuals to spur innovation in low-carbon technologies and reduce climate pollution.

Read National Wildlife Federation’s issue brief and principles for carbon pricing legislation.

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More than one-third of U.S. fish and wildlife species are at risk of extinction in the coming decades. We're on the ground in seven regions across the country, collaborating with 52 state and territory affiliates to reverse the crisis and ensure wildlife thrive.

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