Many of us approached November 6 with bated breath knowing that our ability to address climate change would be affected radically by the results of elections not only for Congress, but also state governorships and legislatures.
It was a good night.
We will soon have a congressional check in place against the Trump Administration and its congressional allies’ attack on all things climate change. We are hopeful that there will be a strong move to restore credible climate science at the federal level even if sweeping reform isn’t yet possible.
At the same time, it is clear that leaders at the state and local levels are pressing forward on climate solutions. In our home state of Oregon, the recent elections have strengthened the climate voice in the legislature and protected our governor, Kate Brown, who has already signaled that this upcoming session will have a strong climate focus.
In towns across the U.S., candidates spoke more openly, often in the wake of extreme weather events, about the link between climate change and local disasters as they called for efforts to combat climate change.
While it is true that more gains were possible than were realized on November 6, it is also true that the prospects for significant climate action have been improved at all levels by the results of the elections. Our job remains to work with communities across the nation to understand and respond to a changing climate in ways that address the root causes of the crisis. With new leadership in key places, that job just got a bit easier.
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