Letter to the Editor of UU World: Climate Action

by Kristi Weir

Dear Editor:

The Winter 2019 issue of UU World featured fine articles on UUs supporting action on climate change by demonstrating with Extinction Rebellion and rallying at the youth-led global climate strike. I’d like to suggest another story of how UUs work on climate change issues through their participation in Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL).

What first attracted me to CCL was its overall objective of reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) through a carbon fee. Being an economist, I knew this was the most efficient way to reduce GHGs. (By the way, over 3,000 economists have signed on to support a carbon fee and dividend approach.) A carbon fee requires a minimum of bureaucracy to administer. It relies on the increase in market prices of fossil-based fuels to stimulate use of non-fossil fuels and to encourage more efficient use of fuel.

I also liked the CCLs stress on treating everyone with respect and maintaining a non-partisan approach when lobbying for a fee on carbon. CCL is also concerned with climate justice. CCL wants the carbon fee revenues to be distributed back monthly on a per capita basis. This will soften the blow from the increase in energy prices of fossil-based fuels. It is estimated low- and middle-income Americans will receive more back in dividends than the increase in energy costs due to the fee.

CCL is working hard to get endorsements for the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (EICD) (HR 763) that is now in the House. UUs work individually on these CCL efforts, but UUs as a group play a significant role in the CCL Faith Action Teams. At present the UU Faith Action Team has 155 members—the largest of any Faith Action Team. Moreover, UU congregations (including UUA) represent 25 of the total 83 Faith Communities endorsing the EICD.

There is a great story here of how UUs as members of CCL are working on a policy to reduce GHGs via the EICD Act. I hope to see an article about this in UU World in the near future.

Kristi Weir

Earth and Climate Action Ministry of

East Shore Unitarian Church, Bellevue, WA