Advocacy groups step up pressure on lawmakers to act on climate change :: WRAL.com

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– Advocacy groups are stepping up pressure on lawmakers during Congressional August recess to pass bold climate provisions in an upcoming budget reconciliation bill.

Progressive groups including the Sunrise movement, Justice Democrats and People’s Action target lawmakers, including Democrats Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Sherrod Brown of Ohio, as well as House committee chairs Bobby Scott, Frank Pallone and Richard Neal, with a phone blitz. on recess, according to exclusive details shared with CNN.

“The challenge we face right now is the lack of political will because the GOP and oil and gas leaders are frankly holding climate action hostage,” Sunrise executive director Varshini Prakash told CNN. . “We are calling our representatives and senators because they should be listening to us, not Exxon.”

Highlighting the dire findings of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, which showed that the nations of the world must reduce their economies to net zero emissions or risk climate catastrophe, Prakash said the groups would require rapid climate action from Congress.

“Sunrise members across the country will flood the offices of 5 key Democrats who hold leadership positions on committees that will decide whether elements of the Green New Deal become a reality in 2021,” Prakash said. “The latest IPCC report, and the climate disasters our politicians can literally see on the outside, must be a wake-up call that what they are doing right now is completely insufficient to stop the climate crisis.”

Lawyers will be spending the holidays making thousands of phone calls to lawmakers, urging them to add sweeping climate legislation to the reconciliation package.

The groups shared their top five demands with CNN: “bold” investments in public housing, schools, transit and renewable energy, a fully funded Civilian Climate Corps, worker protection in the work known as the PRO Act, an end to fossil fuel subsidies, and at least 40% of investments going to frontline communities – a campaign pledge from President Joe Biden.

“Negotiations are underway right now about the size of the Civilian Climate Corps, and with the IPCC report, we know Democrats need to fully fund climate jobs because this could be our last chance,” the door told CNN. -speak of Justice Democrats, Waleed Shahid. .

A digital ad from Organize for Justice urges Virginia Representative Bobby Scott, chairman of the House Committee on Education and Labor to fully fund a Civilian Climate Corps – which has become a major demand of progressive climate activists.

These groups aren’t the only ones focusing on climate action during the August break.

Last week, the League of Conservation Voters and Climate Power announced plans to host at least 31 events in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, New Hampshire and Nevada to encourage lawmakers to invest heavily in climate spending to reconciliation. These groups will spend more than $ 10 million on paid advertising, in addition to the additional $ 10 million in advertising they announced last month.

“We absolutely expect every member of Congress, but especially every Democratic senator, to seize this moment,” Tiernan Sittenfeld, senior vice president of government affairs for the League of Conservation Voters, told CNN. “The scale of the climate crisis is immense. We must act now, we are out of time.”

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