Innamorato supports DEP’s Pennsylvania Climate Action Plan

Admonishes elected officials’ passive approach on issue thus far

HARRISBURG, Sept. 23 – State Rep. Sara Innamorato, D-Allegheny, offered support for the Department of Environmental Protection’s newly announced Pennsylvania Climate Action Plan 2021, an initiative aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and slowing down climate change. But Innamorato, who sits on the state’s Climate Change Advisory Committee, said the passive approach on climate change taken so far by elected officials has failed Pennsylvanians.

“This report tells us what we already know -- that Pennsylvania cannot afford to allow the status quo when it comes to addressing climate change. Inaction from government officials has failed us and will continue to negatively impact our public lands, the public’s health, and the long-term economic future of communities across the Commonwealth,” Innamorato said.

The Pennsylvania Climate Action Plan identifies 18 actions the state can and must take now to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at a rate of 26% by 2025 and 80% by 2050. Certain industries have already felt the irreversible impact of climate change, including infrastructure, agriculture and health care. While it’s far too late to get ahead of climate change, this plan lays out certain actions that community partners can take to effectively adapt to climate change impacts already taking place and slow the momentum of climate change going forward.  

“Even if we reduce our greenhouse gas emissions to zero tomorrow, our neighborhoods will continue to experience the hardships of the increase in flooding, vector-borne diseases and extreme heat days into the future,” she said. “This report gives local organizations a roadmap on how to adapt to reduce these impacts, while reducing environmental impacts. The Pennsylvania legislature must act to financially support these programs.”

Innamorato has long been an advocate for cleaning up the environment. During this session and in previous sessions, she’s proposed bills to hold polluters accountable and protect Pennsylvanians from harmful environmental activity. Working with state Sen. Katie Muth, D-Montgomery, Innamorato introduced several pieces of legislation to protect Pennsylvanians from hazardous waste disposed by the oil and gas industry and protect workers in the coal and oil and gas industries from structural unemployment in their communities like we saw for coal towns during the fracking boom.

According to NASA, nearly all publishing climate scientists agree that humans are the cause of climate change. As a result of increasing greenhouse gas emissions from human activity, Pennsylvania’s average temperature has risen nearly 2 degrees Fahrenheit since 1900. At this rate, the commonwealth’s average temperature is on pace to rise nearly 6 more degrees by 2050.