In 2018, the Utah Legislature took a leap on climate change by acknowledging the changing climate and need for economically feasible solutions in the first climate resolution ever passed in a red state. In 2019, the legislature took a step forward by allotting $200K toward the study and creation of a climate roadmap at the Kem C. Gardner Institute.
A 2017 Hinckley poll showed that 71% of Utahns believe in climate change and 64% believe that it is exacerbated by human activity. An Envision Utah survey previously showed that 4 out of 5 Utahns are concerned about global warming. A 2019 Colorado College survey shows that 60% of Utahns believe climate change is a very or extremely serious problem.
A recent study by conservative polling group, Lunz Global, gives us a lot of insight into how Americans feel about climate change:
- More Americans are worried about climate change now than just a year ago (8 to 1)
- With climate concerns on the rise, 60% of voters want Congress to take a new approach to climate
- 4 out of 5 voters want Congress to put partisan politics aside and come up with a bipartisan climate solution
- 69% of GOP voters are worried that their party’s stance on climate change is driving young voters away
- 60% of Dems are willing to trade existing regulations for market-based solutions, though with the promise of results 71% of Dems are willing
- 75% of voters want government to limit carbon emissions
- 65% of voters are more likely to favor candidates for Congress and the Presidency that support the Carbon Dividends Plan
In other words, if you care about climate change and climate solutions you’re not alone! BUT your member of Congress likely doesn’t know how you feel and won’t take action unless you contact them.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
- Contact your two senators and one congressional representative to tell them how you feel about climate change and ask them to take action toward viable, bipartisan solutions that promise results. Let them know what the data shows about how Utahns and Americans feel about climate change. If you want to over up climate solutions, consider sharing with them information about the Carbon Dividends Plan (see more on that below).
Utah’s Congressional Delegation
Sen. Mitt Romney 202-224-5251 (DC) // 801-524-4380
Sen. Mike Lee 202-224-5444 (DC) // 801-524-5933 (SLC) // 435-628-5514 (St. George) // 801-392-9633 (Ogden)
Rep. Rob Bishop (Congressional District 1): 202-225-0453 (DC) // 801-625-0107 (Ogden)
Rep. Chris Stewart (Congressional District 2): 202-225-9730 (DC) // 801-364-5550 (SLC) // 435-627-1500 (St. George)
Rep. John Curtis (Congressional District 3): 202-225-7751 (DC) // 801-851-2500 (Provo)
Rep. Ben McAdams (Congressional District 4): 202-225-3011 (DC) // 801-999-9801 (West Jordan)
US Capitol switchboard: (202)-225-3121
Not sure who your U.S. Representative is? Check here.
The Carbon Dividends Plan
Forbes calls it “The Most Ambitious Climate Plan in History.” Americans support it 4 to 1 (including GOP voters, who support it 2 to 1 and 75% of Republicans under the age of 40). 3500+ economists, 27 Nobel laureates, all 4 former Fed Chairs, and 15 former Chairs of the Council of Economic Advisers have united behind it as the bipartisan climate solution. Major U.S. businesses, such as BP, ExxonMobil, Shell, and Total, as well as AECOM, Allianz, AT&T, Exelon, First Solar, General Motors, Johnson & Johnson, Metlife, Procter & Gamble, PepsiCo, Santander, Schneider Electric, and Unilever, support the general outlines of it.
So what is the Carbon Dividends Plan?
In 2015 the Paris Climate Agreement set forth a plan to reduce the world’s carbon emissions by 26-28%. However, even these challenging goals are not enough to prevent the earth from warming more than 2 degrees Celsius, posing a dire threat from global warming. Therefore, it is clear that major emitter nations like the United States must do even more to achieve the goal of maintaining temperatures below the 2-degree rise.
Former Republican Secretaries of State James Baker and George Shultz set out to achieve this goal by creating a plan to exceed the Paris standards. Their Carbon Dividends Plan is based on a gradually rising fee applied to all carbon emissions, with all the revenue rebated directly to the American people. A family of four would receive approximately $2,000 per year in “carbon dividends.” The Carbon Dividends plan would begin with a carbon fee of $40 per ton, the most ambitious carbon price enacted by a major emitter country. Find out more about the four pillars of the carbon dividends plan here.
The Baker-Shultz plan would achieve an approximately 32% reduction by 2025, thereby exceeding our Paris commitment as well as Obama-era goals (which would have reduced emissions by 18% by 2025) by a wide margin.
Baker and Shultz are founding members of the Climate Leadership Council, an international policy institute founded in collaboration with a who’s who of business, opinion and environmental leaders to promote a carbon dividends framework as the most cost-effective, equitable and politically-viable climate solution. CLC’s CEO Ted Halstead recently testified at the House Ways & Means Committee’s first climate hearing in 12 years, and presented the business and economic case for our bipartisan climate breakthrough. Read his testimony here.