Tackling Our Twin Crises

The following message from C2ES President Bob Perciasepe was sent to the C2ES community May 5, 2020:

To our C2ES Community,

I wrote here six weeks ago that C2ES had begun looking for ways to leverage our work toward restoring our nation’s economy once we are past the immediate health crisis. I’m writing now to share our initial recommendations for steps we believe can contribute both to economic recovery and to climate solutions.

With COVID-19 cases still rising and a long period of readjustment still ahead of us, our foremost priorities clearly must remain containing the virus, making sure our first-line responders have what they need, and providing immediate relief to those hit hardest by the economic fallout.

But it’s just as clear that the enormous resources our nation will devote to rebuilding our economy can, if wisely invested, also help us confront the longer-term challenge of climate change. And it is vital that our policymakers understand – and seize – opportunities to tackle both crises together.

Toward that end, we’re releasing a new policy brief today recommending steps Congress can take both to help us recover from the pandemic’s impacts and to strengthen the foundation for minimizing future climate impacts.

With job creation as our top criterion, we outline policies that can quickly put Americans to work strengthening infrastructure, upgrading the homes of low-income families, advancing innovative technologies, improving our lands, protecting communities against future risks, and more – all while advancing our efforts against climate change.

Like other work produced by our Climate Innovation 2050 initiative, these recommendations benefit from the input of leading companies across diverse sectors. We believe they respond to the unique and pressing needs of this unprecedented moment – and provide a sound basis for bipartisan action. Beyond these recommendations, we’ve continued to push ahead with our full slate of activities even as we’ve adapted to social distancing requirements. And we’ve been enormously encouraged by how many of you have found value in our efforts.

Record numbers of attendees joined us for recent webinars examining how companies are implementing their net zero commitments, corporate strategies and best practices for climate disclosures, and ways to accelerate adoption of electric trucks. We’ve organized a series of virtual workshops and roundtables, published new policy briefs and blogs, and set in motion many more.

We thank all of you for your support and engagement, and hope you remain safe as we together work to overcome our urgent challenges.