This week, the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis released its sweeping report of recommendations for climate policy, “Solving the Climate Crisis: The Congressional Action Plan for a Clean Energy Economy and a Healthy, Resilient, and Just America.”
This fact sheet compiles and categorizes the major ocean-specific climate policies—as well as the coastal community-specific climate policies—that the report recommends across its more than 500 pages, which include actions such as electrifying ports, restoring wetlands, and increasing offshore wind.
Addressing the climate crisis is the most important action we can take for the ocean, which is under threat from warming, decreasing oxygen levels, and acidification. To phase out greenhouse gas pollution no later than 2050 and limit warming within 1.5 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial levels, it is necessary to enact policies that can achieve ambitious emissions reductions across sectors of the economy, from transportation and electricity to industry and agriculture. Likewise, it is necessary to build the resilience of communities and ecosystems to the unavoidable impacts of climate change—and to ensure justice for communities that are facing not only historic and ongoing social and economic inequalities but also increased risks from climate impacts.
The Select Committee report offers a legislative roadmap to help create a country that is free from greenhouse gas pollution and resilient to the effects of climate change. Notably, the plan also recognizes the important role that the ocean can play in mitigation and adaptation. By reducing greenhouse gas pollution, increasing the climate resilience of human communities, and allowing ecosystems to adapt to changing ocean conditions, ocean-based measures are critical elements in the toolbox of climate policy.
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