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Governor Pritzker calls for benchmarks for climate action in keynote address to government and business leaders in Scotland – CBS Chicago


GLASGOW (CBS) – Illinois Governor JB Pritzker gave the opening address to the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions panel discussion at the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties in Scotland on Sunday.

The governor addressed business leaders and government officials with a focus on working across sectors and borders to tackle the climate emergency.

Pritzker stressed the need for “tangible benchmarks”, including decarbonization. It endorsed a goal of phasing out coal and natural gas by demanding emission reductions and imposing zero emissions for private coal by 2030 and municipal coal and natural gas by 2045.

For transportation, the governor called for putting 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2030 and offering a $ 4,000 rebate on electric vehicles to car buyers.

Pritzker also called for putting Illinois on a 100% clean energy path by 2050 and making fair investments in the state’s new clean energy economy while advancing environmental justice.

“I am honored to join the largest delegation of American states ever gathered here at COP26.

“There has perhaps been no gathering in our collective history more important or more timely than the conversation that brings us here today. I am delighted to join you, working across sectors and borders, to explore and expand our collective leadership and partnership on climate change.

“There is no doubt that our common future today rests on a difficult foothold. The legacy we are prepared to leave for our children depends on those sitting here in this room – leaders willing to build on work that shapes generations.

“Never in human history has the world faced a more urgent climate emergency than the one we face today.

“Make no mistake, the days we hoped would never come, the consequences decades of academics and scientists have warned us against, are here. As governor of one of the largest states in the United States, I can tell you that not a week goes by without my state tackling one crisis or planning the next one brought on by the effects. of climate change. In Illinois for the past two and a half years alone, we have battled a record-breaking polar vortex that has dropped temperatures to dangerously low levels, century-old flooding that now occurs almost every 12 months in our farming communities and our cities, microbursts and tornado cells destroying buildings, rising Lake Michigan waters threatening livelihoods, property and health in Chicago, extreme heat and emergency declarations in more than one third of Illinois counties.

“I have lived in Illinois most of my life and we know how to handle tough weather conditions. But what we’ve seen in recent years has made even the oldest snowplow operators shake their heads and wonder what’s going on.

“We are therefore taking urgent measures to make progress in the fight against climate change. The people of my state have entrusted me with doing everything in my power to ensure their safety – and I do not take this responsibility lightly.

“In 2019, during my second week as governor, I signed up Illinois to become a new member of the U.S. Climate Alliance – a necessary action under a federal administration that, at the At the time, did everything in their power to take the United States in the wrong direction on climate matters.

“In 2021, Illinois is among the leaders of the Alliance, not only in the Midwest, but across the United States.

“We’ve put resources behind our climate goals, bite behind our laws, and hard work behind our aspirations to become one of the most climate-friendly states in the country.

“A fundamental part of my governance philosophy is rooted in my own experiences prior to running for governor: as an entrepreneur and builder of a tech ecosystem, where problem solving required a willingness to work collaboratively, to creative and quick way.

“Government has a bad reputation in this space because elected leaders often struggle to understand how to make the marriage between private sector speed and innovation and the basic public sector framework work. We need to build consensus for the work to come, especially focusing on equity, opportunity, innovation and community.

“In Illinois, that has meant showing that our government is ‘all on board’ in the fight to reduce carbon emissions, remove harmful pollutants from the air, double incentives for renewable energy, retrain workers to jobs of the future and anchor everything in the values ​​of ethics, equity and consumer protection.

“We have a history of forward thinking in this area. Just over half a century ago, Illinois was the first US state to create an environmental protection agency. So perhaps it’s no surprise that today, in 2021, Illinois is making history by claiming some of the most ambitious and fair climate and clean energy laws in the States- United.

“I recently signed a new law to fight climate change from several angles:

• Become the first state in the Midwest to require 100% carbon-free energy by 2045, phasing out private coal by 2030 and ALL coal and natural gas by 2045;

• Support Illinois’ precious nuclear fleet – the largest in the country – at the lowest cost to the taxpayer, by preserving the Illinois Bridge to a carbon-free future;

• Doubling our incentives in renewables, making the world understand that Illinois is open for business, offering stable long-term funding;

• Foster an energy sector that reflects the people it serves, with investments in energy-focused workforce centers and a path to prosperity for minority entrepreneurs and Illinoisans living in righteous communities. environmental;

• Establish historic standards for public service accountability – increase disclosure requirements, protect taxpayers and create a watchdog to ensure the highest level of ethical standards.

“And we’re doing this while building on our state’s long-standing leadership in the US transportation industry to convey to the world that the Land of Lincoln will help lead the clean transportation revolution in the United States.”

“Already, Illinois is home to the best infrastructure in the United States, the best national laboratories like Argonne and Fermilab, and engineering schools like the University of Illinois and Northwestern, and is the epicenter of innovation. ‘shipping and logistics. And our state’s leading climate action plan offers a robust toolkit to support electric vehicle manufacturers and consumers – putting 1 million EVs on the road by 2030, offering discounts of 4,000. $ on electric vehicles to Illinoisans, offering up to 80% rebates to businesses for building charging stations statewide; and now, providing new incentives for the entire EV ecosystem to build facilities, train Illinois graduates, and create jobs.

“It all adds up: Illinois intends to become the best place in North America to drive and build an electric vehicle.

“So to our friends in the private sector in the room: We invite business leaders and investors like you to join us in Illinois as we build the beating heart of this industry in North America. Help us reduce emissions from the transport sector and build the infrastructure of the future.

“In 1871, the great world city of Illinois was destroyed by the Great Chicago Fire. In the wake of this, Chicago became the most entrepreneurial city in the world as innovators flocked there to start from scratch. The renaissance that followed was remarkable, as new companies and new inventions like the skyscraper sprang up almost overnight. Sometimes in the wake of a tragedy come the most creative people and ideas.

“The biggest test of any generation of leaders is how willing they are to work to overcome the tragedies that befall them. This is the moment we all find ourselves in. Climate change is here and it is causing tragedies all around us. This is why we are all here today in Glasgow – to take on a responsibility that we were born into, a responsibility that we have to carry every day. And although I know that the challenges ahead are many. In Illinois, our employees are known for their hard work. So we bring this determination to the collective struggle, joining you here in Glasgow. I have never been so optimistic about the outcome.


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