On Friday, May 23rd, members of the Oxfam Action Corps met with staff at Senator Harkin's office to talk about climate policies. They talked about how to address climate change in a just and equitable way. The United States needs to implement policies that reduce pollution to environmentally acceptable levels. Equally important, the US should assist poor and vulnerable communities as they transition to a green economy and adapt to the climate change that is already occurring.
An important step in the right direction, the Climate Security Act will be introduced for debate in the Senate on June 2nd. The act would set up a cap-and-trade system to reduce climate-altering pollution. Under cap-and-trade systems, polluters are required to acquire licenses to pollute. The government caps the total amount of pollution by limiting the number of available licenses. The Action Corps would like to see most or all of the pollution licenses auctioned instead of given away, and the proceeds reinvested in community adaptation efforts, poverty alleviation, and the public good.
Communicating the importance of climate justice to government figures is an important part of what the Action Corps does. The Oxfam Action Corps looks forward to maintaining a working relationship with Senator Harkin's office as the Climate Security Act and related legislation moves forward.