Whereas, there is a growing climate crisis in Virginia and this nation that endangers our safety, the economy, and our national security.
The 2018 IPCC Special Report on Global Warming cited more than 6,000 scientific studies, had Ninety-one authors and review editors from 40 countries. This report finds that addressing the climate crisis requires “rapid and far-reaching” transitions in land, energy, industry, buildings, transport, and cities, with human-caused carbon dioxide pollution needed to fall 45 percent by 2030, reaching “net zero” by 2050.
It is widely accepted that the climate crisis will have inequitable impacts on low-income, minority, and coastal communities with fewer resources to mitigate and escape the effects of climate change.
Pollution-free solar power only generates about 1% of Virginia’s power as opposed to neighboring states such as North Carolina which gets over 5% of its energy from solar. Energy efficiency and weatherization are affordable, cheaper than fossil fuel generation, reduce carbon pollution and lower customers’ electric bills.
There are already over 97,000 clean energy jobs in Virginia, and a majority of Fortune 500 corporations, including Apple, Capital One, Coca-Cola, and Walmart, have made commitments to use 100% renewable energy. The median salary of a solar installer is $40,000, and that sector is projected to double by 2026. The Median salary of a wind energy technician is $53,000, and that sector is projected to nearly double by 2026.
Virginia and this nation has seen its greatest successes when we work together to solve the largest challenges in a just and equitable way.
Therefore, be it resolved, that the Democratic Party of Virginia urges:
1. The Virginia General Assembly and Governor to partner with organized labor, low-income communities, and businesses to ensure Virginia enacts policies to expand a vibrant, clean energy economy that achieves net zero carbon emissions in the energy sector by 2050 and such policies have measurable mid-point benchmarks; and
2. These partners, in tackling the climate crisis in this way, serve all Virginians, so that future generations enjoy a clean energy economy with equal opportunity regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, country of origin, family background, or religious belief.