WI Lawmaker Joins Nonpartisan Push for Climate-Change Action in the Public News Service on Dec 7, 2020

By Mike Moen, Public News Service – WI

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State Rep. Greta Neubauer, D-Racine, is part of Elected Officials to Protect America, a national group calling for an urgent, nonpartisan approach to addressing climate change. (Photo courtesy of Rep. Neubauer)December 7, 2020

RACINE, Wis. — A Wisconsin lawmaker is part of a network of state and local elected officials calling for serious action on climate change, right away.

The nonpartisan group Elected Officials to Protect America said it’s pleased that President-elect Joe Biden plans to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement, but it’s also asking Biden and Congress to produce a national Climate Emergency Plan.

Rep. Greta Neubauer, D-Racine, said it’s evident in her district broader steps need to be taken, and soon.

“My community, which is facing eroding shorelines along Lake Michigan, poor air quality, high unemployment, deep racial disparities, severe storms and weather, and now COVID-19, cannot wait any longer,” Neubauer insisted.

While some members think Biden’s own climate plan doesn’t go as far enough, the elected leaders said it’s a good blueprint.

Climate change is often associated with progressives, but Neubauer pointed to national polling, including from the Pew Research Center, suggesting most Americans want government action on the issue.

This coming Saturday, Dec. 12, is the fifth anniversary of the Paris Climate Agreement.

Neubauer noted in Wisconsin, there’s acknowledgement, even in more conservative rural areas, that change is needed, as farmers openly discuss the effects of a warming climate on their operations.

She said it’s come up when pushing for new policies at the state level.

“We had farmers coming in saying, ‘Our time for harvesting is unpredictable, and we need some shifts,'” Neubauer observed.

The coalition issued a letter signed by more than 125 elected officials demanding action, including a major reduction in the use of fossil fuels.

To reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, Biden’s plan focuses on heavy investment in public transportation and making buildings more energy efficient. He’s also made pledges to end fossil-fuel subsidies, but that idea faces strong opposition, including from some moderate Democrats.

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