Two weeks ago, the bipartisan U.S. Conference of Mayors, representing 1,400 cities with populations of over 30,000, passed a carbon pricing resolution asking Congress to price carbon at a level “sufficient enough to reduce carbon emissions in line with ambitions detailed in the Paris Agreement on climate change.” 

Why?  Because the mayors are on the front lines when dealing with the impacts of climate change that affect their communities.  

Although many cities and states are adopting policies to mitigate climate change, without national and global policies, local efforts will not be enough to keep global average temperatures below 2° Celsius: the target beyond which climate scientists predict disastrous storms, sea level rise, heat waves, flooding, food insecurity, political instability, mass population migrations, and species extinction.  

Good news is that the mayors agree with economists and climate scientists that carbon pricing is the most cost effective and efficient way to quickly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and begin the transition to a clean energy economy.  

Brunswick, Harpswell, and Arrowsic, joined 126 other U.S. municipalities in passing resolutions urging their members of Congress to pass carbon fee and dividend legislation.  

Carbon pollution does not respect borders.  Pollution created in Mid Coast Maine does not stay in Mid Coast Maine.  Our air quality and atmosphere are affected by coal burning plants in Ohio, wildfires in Colorado, and charcoal stoves in India.  Maine municipalities and their residents will be paying to adapt to increasing threats caused by climate change. Those costs will grow at an increasing rate as time goes by and we fail to mitigate. 

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What can you do? Write or call Sens. King and Collins and beg them to join Rep. Pingree in supporting a carbon fee and dividend policy similar to the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act: HR 763.  

Dodie Jones, 

Brunswick 

Co-Leader Citizens’ Climate Lobby, Bath-Brunswick Chapter