CO. State Sen. Faith Winter speaking at a UN COP26 panel event

State Sen. Winter is part of an Elected Officials to Protect America delegation to urge President Biden to declare a Climate Emergency

The year 2021 is expected to qualify among the hottest seven in history, all of them recorded since 2014, according to an early estimate by the United Nations World Meteorological Organization. Officials meeting in Glasgow at Cop26 will confer on how to keep warming at 1.5°C. (2.7 Fahrenheit) compared with pre-industrial levels. Scientists say the chances of meeting that goal, agreed to at the 2015 Paris climate accord, need to be met. According to the IPCC’s report, the world has already warmed by more than 1.1°C and current projections based on planned emissions cuts over the next decade are for it to hit 2.7°C by the year 2100. That would melt much of the earth’s ice, raise global sea levels and increase the intensity and frequency of extreme weather. Tens of millions of people would be left without homes or food.Elected Officials to Protect America (EOPA) has sent a delegation, many of these state representatives are also veterans, to the Glasgow Cop26 climate summit. These elected officials say Cop26 must become humanity’s moment of hope that brings about the reality of the 2015 Paris accord.

On November 2, Tuesday from 6pm – 7pm local Scottish time, Colorado State Senator Faith Winter spoke on a panel at COP26 to urge world action on climate with America leading the way. The event showcased how all levels of government — cities, counties, states, and federal government — are coordinating to accelerate action toward a climate neutral future. The panel was called Time4 MultilevelAction USA.

“This year, for the first time in history the Colorado’s largest reservoirs reached their lowest water levels, which triggered the first shortage declaration and with it a range of water allocation curtailments. The mega drought has changed the lives of millions and sparked apocalyptic fires,” said Faith Winter, Colorado State Senator, Elected Officials to Protect America Leadership Council, “While we’re doing our utmost in the legislature to mitigate the climate crisis, time is running out. We will be able to partner more with the Biden administration once the Build Back Better Act (BBBA) is passed. The BBBA represents historic progress when we need it most. Once enacted, it will provide a record $550 billion to help advance the shift to cleaner, smarter ways to power our future, thereby lessening greenhouse gas emissions so the climate can eventually stabilize.”

After the panel discussion Winter added, “It was an honor to share how Colorado is leading the way both nationally and internationally in addressing the climate emergency. Colorado has set ambitious greenhouse gas reduction goals, has centered environmental justice in our climate policies, and is focusing on a just transition to our clean energy future.”

The panel was welcomed by Governor Bel Edwards of Louisiana by recording and then moved into a series of questions for the panelists. Each panelist had the chance to introduce themselves and their state or community action on climate in a 2-minute overview at the start of their answer to the first question.

“We are at an inflection point. The world must mobilize together in emergency action or face catastrophe. At the Paris talks, EOPA cheered the global agreement, but it has not translated to action on the scale needed to mitigate the worsening climate crisis.” said Dominic Frongillo, Executive Director and Co-Founder of Elected Officials to Protect America, former Councilmember and Deputy Supervisor Caroline, New York. “In this global crisis, America must lead. Our EOPA delegation represents elected officials from across America who are doing their utmost in their states and communities. Now, we need our elected officials in Washington D.C. to swiftly act with the passage of the Build Back Better Act (BBBA). We also urge President Biden to enact a Climate Emergency Declaration and Plan.”

EOPA sees that there are more opportunities in the clean energy fields than ever before.

“The world must agree how we tackle the climate crisis and take action — now. At 1.5 C, there will be countries, lowlands and cities around the world that will disappear under water. We must seize the enormous opportunities for clean energy growth with green jobs, and cheaper, cleaner power. A worldwide green revolution in renewables is underway. Renewables now provide more than one quarter of the world’s electricity and are the cheapest form of power in most places,“ said Alex Cornell du Houx, a former Maine state lawmaker, Marine combat veteran and President of the Elected Officials to Protect America/Co-Founder. “In the military we know the climate crisis is a threat multiplier, both for instability around the globe, and for increasing climate-fueled natural disasters here at home. EOPA urges Congress to pass the Build Back Better Act — so America can lead the world mitigating the threats of climate change.”

On September 14th over 137 lawmakers, many who are also veterans, attended an Elected Officials to Protect America (EOPA) White House Summit on the climate crisis supporting urgent climate solutions and a Presidential Climate Emergency Declaration.

While the challenges from the climate crisis that we face are immense, America led the world in the 1980’s by unanimously ratifying the world’s first-ever global treaty to reduce pollution and phase out chlorofluorocarbons to heal the Earth’s ozone layer. It is one of the most successful international environmental efforts in history.

The lives and livelihoods of hundreds of millions of Americans, have already been affected by climate change. The United States experienced 22 climate caused disasters that exceeded a record $1 billion each in damages in 2020.

A major obstacle to humanity combating the climate crisis continues to be fossil fuel companies. Between 2000 and 2016, fossil fuel interests spent nearly $2 billion to derail climate legislation.

Important facts: 66 percent of Americans supported the BBBA in September. 70 percent of Americans are worried about global warming and 55 percent are saying that people in the US are being harmed by it right now.

More about CO State Sen. Faith Winter:

In 2004 Faith ran for Westminster City Council and won by a landslide. Here, she was a leader on renewable energy and protecting services for survivors of domestic violence. As Mayor Pro-Tem of Westminster, she helped lead Westminster to become the first platinum solar city in the state.

In 2018, Faith was elected to the Colorado State Senate, representing District 24. Earlier, Winter served in the Colorado House of Representatives as a Democrat from 2014 to 2019, representing Colorado House District 35.

She currently serves as Chair of the Senate Transportation & Energy Committee and as Vice Chair of the Health & Human Services Committee. She has fought tirelessly for hard-working Coloradans and their families in the legislature by sponsoring a key component of the Colorado Ready to Work jobs package, passing the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, helping home-based businesses, and passing an energy efficiency standard.

Faith is also the founding Executive Director of Emerge Colorado and the current National Training Director for VoteRunLead, all which work to engage women in the political process.

In 2004 Faith was named one of 30 people under 30 showing political leadership by the Youth Vote Coalition, in 2008 she was named one of the top ten most influential women in Denver by the Denver Examiner, in 2010 she was named Woman of the year by Colorado Business and Professional Women northwest chapter, in 2012 she was named one of the up-and-coming women leaders to watch by the Denver Post, and in 2014 the Colorado Democratic Party named her rising star.

When Faith isn’t in the legislature and knocking on doors she is hiking, cooking, and spending time with her family, her kids Tobin and Sienna along with her husband Mark and their dogs and cat.