Democrats in the House and Senate warned this week that climate change is real and is the proximate cause of more extreme weather-related events across the U.S. and the world.
"Climate change is driving more severe drought and wildfires in the west, larger and more frequent floods in the midwest, and sea level rise and greater storm damage along our coasts," they wrote in a letter to President Barack Obama. "Vulnerable populations, like children with asthma and the elderly, are suffering from higher levels of smog in our cities and longer, more severe heat waves."
"Farmers and ranchers are struggling with crop and livestock losses from drought," the letter added. "Increasingly acidic oceans are harming shellfish populations and threatening fisheries. Communities are struggling to pay for infrastructure damaged by fires, more extreme storms, and coastal erosion."
They issued this warning in a letter that praised Obama for announcing a climate action plan and for working with China and countries in Europe to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. They said continued U.S. leadership in the United Nations is needed to ensure other countries follow the U.S.'s lead in reducing emissions.
"Proactive engagement in these negotiations, backed up by domestic climate action, is the best way to protect our nation's interests and ensure every country does its fair share," they wrote.
On Tuesday, the White House submitted new carbon pollution goals to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, and said the White House doesn't need any input from Congress as it works on these goals.
"These are ambitious and achievable goals that can be done within existing legal authority," said White House senior adviser Brian Deese.
Read a copy of the Democratic letter here: