Engaging with Congress on Climate and Resilience

by Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI)
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Engaging with Congress on Climate and Resilience
Engaging with Congress on Climate and Resilience
Engaging with Congress on Climate and Resilience
Engaging with Congress on Climate and Resilience
Engaging with Congress on Climate and Resilience
Engaging with Congress on Climate and Resilience
Engaging with Congress on Climate and Resilience
Engaging with Congress on Climate and Resilience
Engaging with Congress on Climate and Resilience
Engaging with Congress on Climate and Resilience
Engaging with Congress on Climate and Resilience
Engaging with Congress on Climate and Resilience
Engaging with Congress on Climate and Resilience
Engaging with Congress on Climate and Resilience
Engaging with Congress on Climate and Resilience

Everything we produce has a climate impact at every stage of its life cycle, including production, transportation, and disposal. While recycling and composting are important, preventing waste from occurring in the first place does much more to curb climate change. In the case of food, for example, significant amounts of greenhouse gases are produced from wasted food—food that was produced and perhaps even transported to supermarket and then home or restaurant, but not eaten. And part of those emissions are methane, a highly potent greenhouse gas. 

Those climate implications are a reason why both the United States and the United Nations have goals of reducing food waste and loss by 50 percent by 2030. Achieving this goal would have huge climate benefits. It would also help create jobs and, most importantly, feed people who are food insecure. 

The implications of the waste-climate connection for policymakers were discussed through EESI’s briefing series: Reduce and Reuse: How to Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions of Building Materials, Plastics, and Food, which you helped make possible. That series highlighted, for example, the ReFED Insights Engine, a tool for policymakers seeking to reduce food waste. 

Of course, individuals can—and should—do their best to avoid wasting food. Food makes up the largest share of materials deposited in landfills, with a lot coming from households. 

But this is a huge, deeply-rooted societal issue that individuals cannot solve on their own. We need policy interventions to achieve impact on a massive scale—at every stage in the food production and consumption cycle.

It takes so much energy to create and distribute food and other products that people buy. Diverting them from landfills will not diminish the climate impacts much. Waste prevention is a much more effective climate strategy.

Thank you so much for the important role you are playing in ensuring that federal decision makers have all the information they need to enact effective and well-informed policies!

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Briefing with Christiana Figueres & Robert Watson
Briefing with Christiana Figueres & Robert Watson

Regardless of what we accomplish this year in terms of climate action, we still have a lot of work to do to avoid the worst scenarios described by the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The report tells us to expect global warming to continue and get worse unless “deep reductions in CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions occur in the coming decades.”

There are positive developments internationally and here at home. World leaders delivered the Glasgow Climate Pact, which keeps a path open for countries to limit warming. President Biden signed the bipartisan infrastructure bill into law, and lawmakers are inching toward passage of the Build Back Better Act. 

But to realize the necessary reductions to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius or less, we need Congress to make even bigger investments to speed up an equitable transition to a decarbonized, clean energy economy. And we need to ensure a long-term federal commitment to keep making such investments, help harness new technological innovations, and enact new policies.

If you think the big investments now are hard to accomplish, wait until we get to that long-term commitment. That is why you are so important.

You make possible all the briefings, fact sheets, articles, newsletters, and podcasts that policymakers and their staff rely on to make decisions.

And your commitment to equitable and affordable financing helps transform federal investments into clean energy improvements that help rural households and small businesses save money.

Won't you renew your commitment to climate solutions with a tax-deductible year-end gift today?

I look forward to working together toward a more sustainable, resilient, and equitable world.

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Clean energy leaders at EESI'S 2021 EXPO
Clean energy leaders at EESI'S 2021 EXPO

At this moment of urgency for climate action, you are making a difference. For example, you’ve enabled this timely analysis of what’s in the bipartisan infrastructure deal.

And you’ve helped push it out to subscribers of our biweekly Climate Change Solutions email newsletter! We cover the infrastructure deal and so much more - so you can stay informed. Want to subscribe? Click here! We have a strict privacy policy.

And just a couple weeks ago, you helped EESI to host its annual Congressional Clean Energy EXPO and Policy Forum. Five members of Congress, both Republicans and Democrats, delivered messages. Panelists included professionals and leaders from the energy efficiency and clean energy fields.

The latest annual EXPO explored climate change in the context of national security and renewable energy. Speakers also covered the crucial topic of what addressing climate change means for jobs and workforce development.

You’ve also enabled four briefings for congressional staff, businesses, nonprofits, and the public on the benefits of a national green bank, electric vehicles, and more! Check out our recent online briefings here

Thank you for caring about the climate crisis and recognizing the essential opportunities we have in 2021 to provide sustainable solutions. You make all of our work possible, including the Richard L. Ottinger Internship Program.

EESI’s paid internship program allows people like me to learn about climate policy, clean energy strategies, and nonprofits—right now, on a remote basis during the pandemic. As someone who is studying philanthropy, I have gained invaluable experience through this program that will help me launch my career.

You, like EESI, also understand that there are many problems facing our world, including racial inequality, the need to recover from the pandemic quickly in a way that fosters equity, and the need for workforce development and sustainability.

We recognize that to achieve an equitable and just transition to a decarbonized, clean energy economy, we need to ensure that marginalized voices are especially represented in policymaking.

Thank you so much for joining forces to create this future together.

Best,

Ashlyn Devine

EESI'S Dan Bresette and Rep. Kind (D-Wis.) - EXPO
EESI'S Dan Bresette and Rep. Kind (D-Wis.) - EXPO
Ashlyn Devine, Summer '21 EESI Development Intern
Ashlyn Devine, Summer '21 EESI Development Intern

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Spring has sprung! We at EESI are so grateful for your commitment in playing a role in climate action that is so urgently needed by giving to EESI’s project on Engaging with Congress on Climate Change and Resilience

As Congress considers an array of policy options to bolster the economy and address climate, you’ve been helping to make possible a vital series of briefings through our new Congressional Climate Camp

You are making it possible to engage and inform Congressional staff, who may not be well versed in climate issues, on areas and opportunities for advancing equitable climate solutions that protect communities and create jobs.

The five-part series explores areas ranging from budget reconciliation (scheduled for May 21) to ways to decarbonize sectors with high emissions.

As an intern at EESI this spring, I’ve gotten the opportunity to support our policy work by compiling notes for our third Congressional Climate Camp installment; that briefing focused on lessons learned from previous Congresses' work on energy and public opinions on climate change; they are posted here if you’re interested.

I learned so much by attending this briefing, taking notes, and seeing how the EESI staff edited and tweaked my notes. So many past actions, challenges, and victories have influenced current environmental policy and also engaged stakeholders in action towards climate solutions and how to make success more likely. The briefing brought together experts from different sectors to deconstruct past climate policies and current attitudes towards these policies. 

You are invaluable in informing not only congressional staffers but also the public. For example, I’m always thrilled when I see that the media has used EESI fact sheets or interviewed EESI staff about Biden’s proposals. Our fact sheet on fossil fuel subsidies has gotten a lot of media attention lately. Our Climate Change FAQ fact sheet breaks down some of the most important concepts regarding climate change - with facts, charts, and additional resources. You can check out all our informative fact sheets here!

Finally, I am so excited to announce EESI’s participation in GlobalGiving’s Climate Action Campaign! The campaign runs from Monday, April 19 to Friday, April 23. During that week, donations to EESI made through the GlobalGiving platform, up to $100 per donor, will be matched at 50%!

The Climate Action Campaign is an opportunity for your gift for climate solutions to go further!  Please mark your calendar to give between the 19th and the 23rd to double your impact during Earth Week! 

Thank you again for your continued commitment to climate change solutions. You make all of this possible by supporting our programs (including the Richard L. Ottinger internship program that has made it possible for me to be part of EESI).

Best,
Jocelyn

Jocelyn Rendon, EESI's spring development intern
Jocelyn Rendon, EESI's spring development intern

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Happy new year!

After a year that was unprecedented in so many ways,  the new year is already unfolding in ways that continue to be, well, unprecedented. (Here is EESI’s statement condemning Wednesday’s attack on Congress and democracy.)

It is hard to know where to focus or whether to be hopeful or distraught. But colleagues and I are choosing to hope for a more equitable and cleaner, more sustainable future.

As we recognize real struggles and challenges, we also see a lot of reasons to be optimistic! We hope you do, too. And we are so, so grateful to have you as a partner in creating climate solutions.

If you haven’t already, please feel free to check out  our recent online briefings. In the last three months, these have included a report on resilient coastal communities, an exploration of nuclear waste legislation, a three-part transportation series (sea ports, aviation, and public transit), and a year-end progress update on climate mitigation and adaptation. You helped make all of this happen -- thanks!

You’ve also been part of enabling an expansion of our communications tools -- please also listen and subscribe to our new podcast and tell your friends!

The first four podcast episodes highlight coastal resilience, aviation technology, post-election climate action possibilities, and first-hand stories from some of our own recent interns who continue to be a vital part of our team even as we work remotely.

Sending you care, fortitude, patience, and optimism for what is sure to be an interesting new year.

Best,
Tim

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Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI)

Location: Washington, DC - USA
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Daniel Bresette
Washington, DC United States
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