As talks continue in Scotland at the annual international climate summit, Illinoisans 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. Rep. Stephanie Kifowit, D-Aurora, noted Gov. J.B. Pritzker and a delegation from the state is in Glasgow now, to highlight the urgency of acting boldly on climate change, especially for an agricultural state such as Illinois.
“We certainly need a national blueprint for climate change,” Kifowit asserted. “It’s affecting us in Illinois with regards to the farmers and the growing season, and so we’re feeling it here in the Midwest and in other states.”
The Biden administration’s Build Back Better bill includes more than $500 billion in investments to curb climate change. Groups say the investments are urgent, but more will be needed to address the existential threat. Kifowit added Illinois has been a leader in the nation in adopting strong renewable-energy standards and setting bold goals for transitioning away from fossil fuels. She pointed to the state’s recent landmark climate bill, the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act, as an example of taking a strong stance, but said there is more to do.
“It should not be a partisan issue,” Kifowit contended. “We need to come together for pretty much the good of our economies and the good of our country and really have some comprehensive global climate-change plans.”
World leaders concluded their speeches earlier this week and agreed to work to reduce deforestation and methane emissions. A vote on the Build Back Better Act should come any day now in the U.S. House and then will be up to the Senate.