When it comes to fighting climate change, American businesses are on board.
In case you missed it, the CEOs of some of America’s largest food and beverage companies recently published an open letter encouraging leaders from the United States and around the world to reach a meaningful agreement on climate change during the upcoming Conference of the Parties (COP) in Paris.
Here at home, a strong agricultural sector is central to a healthy American economy. Our farmers are the best around, and they help make the American agricultural sector the most productive in the world. But, climate change is likely to affect weather patterns across the country, including in America's most productive agricultural areas where tens of thousands of farmers live and cultivate their crops. We want to ensure that our farmers are able to provide properly for their families, today and for generations to come.
In the face of a changing climate, one of the critical challenges of our time is making sure that there is enough food for the world’s growing population – estimated to reach 9 billion people by 2050. Droughts, floods, and other extreme weather events associated with unchecked climate change stymie food production by destroying crops and wiping out agricultural infrastructure. More marginal shifts in temperature, changes in rainfall patterns, and rising sea levels also have sizable negative impacts on food production and prices throughout the world.
The CEOs of Mars, General Mills, Nestle USA, Unilever, Danone Dairy North America, Stonyfield Farm, Ben & Jerry’s, Kellogg, New Belgium Brewing, and Clif Bar understand the great challenges facing their industry. They state that “climate change is bad for farmers and agriculture,” and “threaten[s] the world’s food supply…. If we don’t take action now, we risk not only today’s livelihoods, but also those of future generations.”
We couldn’t agree more. We strongly encourage our negotiators to “come back with a sound agreement, properly financed . . .” to meet “the climate challenges that face the world.”
Climate change is one of the most serious issues facing the planet and the annual COP provides a venue for the world's leaders to discuss the global response. We urge all members – regardless of party – to fully embrace this opportunity for serious climate action, and to stand with the growing list of American businesses committed to tackling this serious problem.
Eliot L. Engel Frank Pallone, Jr.
Ranking Member Ranking Member
House Foreign Affairs Committee House Energy & Commerce Committee