The Center for Earth Ethics has been participating in the Climate Crisis Policy (CCP) review of pending climate legislation. We strongly encourage all those interested in protecting our environment through the legislative process to use the extensive resources collected by CCP to deepen your understanding of proposed legislation. You can participate by attending the bi-weekly Action Campaign calls, through Climate Crisis Policy’s “Adopt-a-District” program, join the Faith Mobilization, or find another way to engage your community and representatives.
A “Climate Bill Package” Creates Unified Front for Climate Movement, Preparing Now for Nationally Coordinated Effort in 2021
For Climate Week 2020, a nationwide network has launched a ”Climate Bill Package” campaign, uniting 10 bills spanning key policy sectors. Designed to unite the underlying movements, the bills are collectively supported by over 1200 organizations.
The Climate Bill Package tackles regenerative agriculture, fracking, fossil fuel subsidies, plastics, refrigerants, confined animal feeding operations, toxic pesticides, planting billions of trees, restoring wetlands, environmental justice, and just transition, with additional bills pending.
Collectively, these have a myriad of climate, environmental and structural benefits, and serve as core elements of a more comprehensive legislative agenda in 2021.
“Strategically, the package unites movements to increase the political power needed for victory,” said Todd Fernandez, Director of Climate Crisis Policy, featuring a digest of climate solutions from 150 sources. “If we work together across topics, climate activists can defeat the triumvirate of Big Oil, Big Ag & Big Pharma and reclaim our democracy. But we have to be ready.”
The Climate Bill Package network will target all 435 Congressional Districts with an Adopt-A-District effort where local organizations form mini-coalitions to secure co-sponsorship of the package. In 2020, the network will target 100 Districts, led by local leaders with Climate Reality, Project Drawdown, Unitarian Universalists, Sierra Club, 350, and more.
Among the many NGOs leading legislative efforts, the network collaborates with the Center for Biological Diversity, Mighty Earth, Natural Resources Defense Council, Food & Water Action, Family Farm Alliance, Environmental Investigation Agency, Climate Justice Alliance, The Center for Earth Ethics, and The Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University.
Expectations are high that 2021 will present the first opportunity for huge climate action in Congress. To prepare, the network aims to grow nationwide coalition capacity and infrastructure so that civil society writ large is ready to seize this moment and save our planet from ecological disaster.
The network hosts open meetings on Wednesdays featuring experts on the legislation and action with past meetings available on YouTube. The website lists the Package Bills, Sponsors, Group Support, and District leads. They are also reviewing the U.S. House Climate Action Plan to identify what’s good, bad, and missing, to prepare for action in 2021.
2020 CLIMATE BILL PACKAGE
(See Detailed Summaries; Outreach Toolkit)
1. Break Free from Plastic Pollution Act of 2020 (H5845 – 2020):
- Phases out most common single-use non-recyclable plastic products by 2022
- Reforms waste and recycling programs, and establishes nationwide bottle return refund program
- Holds corporations responsible for cleaning up plastic pollution
2. American Innovation & Manufacturing Act (H5544 – 2020)
- Bipartisan bill to replace environmentally harmful hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) used in refrigeration and air conditioning with more efficient cooling products
- Creates 33,000 manufacturing jobs and an estimated 2.5M industry jobs by 2027
3. Protect America’s Children from Toxic Pesticides Act (H7940 – 2020)
- Bans pesticides shown to cause significant harm to children, adults, and the environment, some which are already banned or restricted in Europe & Canada
- Bans insecticides that lead to pollinator collapse
- Protects frontline communities directly impacted by pesticide exposure
Farming & Forests
4. Farm System Reform Act (H6718 – 2020)
- Phases out concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) and large factory farms that produce enormous waste and harmful pollution
- Offers buyouts to help farmers transition from CAFOs to regenerative practices
5. Food & Agribusiness Merger Moratorium Act (H2933 – 2019)
- Halts corporate consolidation in the food & farming industries, which devastates independent farms and can thwart efforts on regenerative practices
- Establishes commission to investigate the impact of market concentration
6. Climate Stewardship Act (H4269 – 2019)
- Supports programs to reduce or offset one-third of agricultural emissions by 2025
- Plants 16 billion trees, including 400 million in urban areas
- Restores and protects 2 million acres of essential coastal wetlands
- Invests in regional food systems, helping small and medium sized farms provide fresh, nutritious food to more people via local systems
7. Agriculture Resilience Act (H5861 – 2020)
- Rewards farmers for promoting healthy soil and carbon sequestration
- Supports farmers for practicing pasture-based livestock systems
- Provides financial incentives to help farms transition to green energy
- New federal programs aimed at reducing food waste
8. Fracking Ban Act (S.3247 / H5857 – 2020)
- Bans fracking nationwide by 2025 and prioritizes transition of fossil fuel workers into good-paying jobs in their communities
- Immediately bans new federal permits for fracking-related infrastructure and bans fracking within 2,500ft of homes
9. End Polluter Welfare Act (H7781 – 2020)
- Eliminates up to $150B in federal subsidies to fossil fuel companies over 10yrs
Environmental Justice & Just Transition
10. Environmental Justice for All Act (H5986 – 2020)
- Addresses disparities in environmental and public health, particularly impacting under-served communities and communities of color
- Provides economic assistance for communities that depend on the fossil fuel industry, ensuring a fair and just transition for workers and local economies