WV Faith Leaders Voice Support for Climate Solutions
Friday, June 17, 2022
Faith leaders and environmental groups want West Virginia to implement policies aimed at cutting carbon emissions and slowing the pace of climate change.
According to federal data, temperatures in the Mountain State have risen one degree Fahrenheit since the beginning of the 20th century. While it may not seem like much, warming temperatures are a troubling trend.
Jon Clark, Appalachia regional coordinator for the Citizens' Climate Lobby, said a carbon tax would send a price signal to the market utilities should be investing in technologies to capture the carbon they emit.
"It costs polluters nothing to keep dumping," Clark pointed out. "They're polluting into the atmosphere for free, so where's the incentive to invest in carbon capture and sequestration? Putting a carbon tax in place would actually be a long-term incentive to reduce it."
Some state officials disagree. This week West Virginia's Attorney General, along with his counterparts in a handful of states, sent a letter to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, arguing a proposed rule to require companies to disclose all their direct greenhouse-gas emissions, and other climate-related data, is an attempt to "intimidate boardrooms" and "put profit secondary to political interests."
Ron English, president of the NAACP Charleston Branch, spoke at a recent conference focused on how climate change is affecting the everyday lives of West Virginians. He said faith communities have a responsibility to take action.
"And what we do, from the center of our very being, is to ask ourselves three questions: What is our intent? How are we guided by integrity? And what is the anticipation of our impact?" English urged.
A report released earlier this year by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change stressed countries need to take rapid and immediate action to curb greenhouse-gas emissions in order to avoid the most disastrous impacts of climate change.
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