“When America leads on climate, the rest of the world will follow,” opined David Michael Terwunga. In town for the U.N Civil Society Conference and hailing from Abuja, Nigeria, Terwunga is the Africa Regional Coordinator for Citizens’ Climate Lobby.
But how can America lead with a president who has left the Paris Agreement on climate change?
Congress can move the ball forward. Currently it has nine carbon pricing bills to consider, two bipartisan. I encourage Utah’s Congressional delegation to give serious consideration to one of them, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act. This act would allow carbon sources to reflect their true cost, by adding a fee to coal, oil and natural gas. A dividend of the proceeds would be distributed equally to Americans and a border adjustment would incentivize other countries to follow
Yes, our president consistently kowtows to fossil fuels interests. But in our democracy, Congress still has the power to lead on climate and pass laws in the best interest of people, even to override a presidential veto if necessary.
Terwunga is right. The world looks to America for leadership. Let’s show the strength of our nation by passing climate legislation despite our president. Now that’s a powerful democracy.