A flag flies at the Southeast Iowa Renewable Energy ethanol facility on June 11, 2019 in Council Bluffs, Iowa. | Scott Olson/Getty Images
Three Michigan Democratic lawmakers have joined a letter urging President Joe Biden to “strengthen the federal government’s climate commitments under the Paris Agreement” at the Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) taking place in Glasgow.
“As the largest historical contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, the United States has both a moral and practical responsibility to achieve net-zero emissions by or before 2050,” lawmakers wrote on Monday.
The letter was signed by more than 500 legislators in 47 states. The Michigan lawmakers are: Rep. Padma Kuppa (D-Troy), Rep. Shri Thanedar (D-Detroit) and Sen. Mallory McMorrow (D-Royal Oak).
Lawmakers note that nearly two-thirds of U.S. states and territories have some form of Renewable Portfolio Standard or Clean Energy Standard, including Michigan, and more than a dozen have committed to 100% clean energy, with implementation dates ranging from 2030 to 2050.
Shortly after taking office in 2019, Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer joined 19 governors that make up the U.S. Climate Alliance, whose members have voluntarily agreed to cut their state’s greenhouse gas emissions to levels consistent with the 2016 Paris Climate Accords. Former President Donald Trump pulled the United States from the agreement in 2017, but Biden rejoined it after being sworn in back in January.
Last year, Whitmer committed to Michigan being carbon-neutral by 2050. And in April, she announced that state-owned facilities will use 100% renewable energy by 2025. The GOP-controlled Michigan Legislature has not taken action to fight climate change.
“States rely on the federal government to provide a strong baseline policy. States that struggle to address climate change legislatively look to the federal government to set strong emissions and air quality standards,” the lawmakers wrote. “Binding federal commitments to phase out fossil fuel usage and accelerate the transition to renewable energy are overdue.”
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