President Joe Biden was one of many world leaders who spoke about the urgent need to take bold action to curb climate change at COP26. (White House)

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By Lily Bohlke, Public News Service

November 4, 2021   

AUGUSTA, Maine — As talks continue at the annual international climate summit, Mainers are among those urging the U.S. to follow up on its commitments.

Groups want Congress to pass federal climate legislation and for President Joe Biden to declare a national climate emergency.

Alex Cornell du Houx, former state representative, president of Elected Officials to Protect America and a veteran, said during his time in Afghanistan, he witnessed firsthand the impact water and other resources can have during times of conflict.

“Conflicts across the world are due to climate and water-security issues,” Cornell du Houx observed. “And what’s happening, unfortunately, is it’s becoming a threat multiplier, that the U.S. is very insulated in many ways against, but it’s also coming to the U.S. in much more grave manners.”

The Biden administration’s Build Back Better framework includes more than $500 billion in investments to curb climate change. Groups say the investments are urgent, but more will still be needed to address the existential threat.

Cornell du Houx added Maine is playing its role in pioneering technologies to help the U.S. go even further, from offshore floating wind turbines to aquaponics, growing fish and plants at the same time indoors.

“These are really amazing climate solutions that are being developed and can be implemented across the U.S. and world, coming from Maine,” Cornell du Houx remarked.

World leaders concluded their speeches earlier this week and secured global agreements to reduce deforestation and methane emissions. Methane is the second-most prevalent greenhouse gas next to carbon dioxide.

Meanwhile, in Congress, Democrats are trying to keep a measure in the Build Back Better Act that would place fees on methane emissions.

References:  COP26 conference United Nations 2021
Build Back Better framework White House 10/28/2021