Area volunteers to meet with Congress on climate policy

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Four climate-concerned citizens from Iowa, including Leslie Sand and Birgitta Meade of Decorah, will travel to Washington, D.C. next week to talk to Congressional leaders about policy to reduce carbon pollution.

On Tuesday, June 13, volunteer representatives from three of Iowa’s eight chapters of Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) will join other CCL volunteers from across the U.S. to advocate for climate solutions.

During their day on Capitol Hill, CCL members from the first and second Congressional districts will meet with the offices of the Iowa Congressional delegation to urge them to take action on climate change, specifically regarding permitting reform.

Before the lobby meetings, volunteers will attend CCL’s international 2023 Climate Lobbying Reboot June Conference, where they will hear from inspirational speakers such as Green for All National Campaign Director Jameka Hodnett, Dean of The Fletcher School at Tufts University Rachel Kyte and Ambassador Francis Rooney who was the Republican representative for Florida’s 19th Congressional district from 2017 to 2021.

“I feel fortunate to be a part of an organization that brings together Americans from across the country to respectfully ask for meaningful climate action” said Leslie Sand of Decorah and the Northeast Iowa CCL chapter.

Citizens’ Climate Lobby is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that brings together volunteers from across the political spectrum to advocate for legislation to help solve the climate crisis. Volunteers meet regularly with their members of Congress to respectfully ask them to support federal policy to lower the heat-trapping emissions altering and polluting our climate.

“CCL volunteers in Iowa from both sides of the aisle consistently contact all our Congressional delegation to ask for climate action,” said Phil Engen with the Cedar Rapids CCL chapter. “Our state already sees impacts from a warming climate with derechos, more intense tornadoes, flooding and drought. Our leaders must support policy to reduce carbon emissions with the speed needed. Thankfully, we have seen them support several climate-related bills in the last few years. We feel that they are walking in the right direction, we’re just asking them to walk faster.”

Although the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported an increase in atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide in 2022,

a clean energy transition is swiftly happening in the U.S.

Just three months after the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, 100,000 climate-friendly jobs were created in the U.S., and families that take advantage of clean energy and electric vehicle tax credits from the bill are set to save more than $1,000 per year.

The wind energy industry already employs thousands of Iowans. Under the IRA, that number would increase and expand to industries like solar and energy storage. There’s a $24 billion investment in clean power generation in Iowa between now and 2030.

“We are heading in the right direction,” said Sand “But it’s important we push for more.”

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