Washington (March 15, 2017)—Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) and 16 other Republican House members introduced a resolution today that recognizes the impacts of a changing climate and calls for action to address its causes and effects.
Below is a statement by Ken Kimmell, president of the Union of Concerned Scientists.
“I’m heartened to see Republican House members introduce a resolution committing Congress to address climate change and base its policy decisions on science and quantifiable facts.
“If Congress followed the science it would, of course, see that fossil fuel emissions are driving climate change. While the resolution doesn’t explicitly make that link, it shows that these Republican lawmakers are not in a state of denial about this key issue. There is strength in numbers, and I hope that this sizable group of responsible leaders will have an impact on votes in Congress.
“The U.S. is seeing more extreme weather, including flooding, droughts and wildfires, which cost taxpayers billions of dollars in damages. The best way to minimize the risks and costs of these types of events is to prepare ahead of time and rebuild stronger afterwards using the best available science.”
In 2016, there were fifteen extreme weather and climate events in the U.S. that caused $1 billion or more in damages. The annual average number of such events has risen in the last five years compared with the previous 35 years. Many recent disasters—including flooding caused by extreme storms and heavy downpours, droughts and wildfires—were exacerbated by climate change.