Letter to the editor: Gov. Reynolds, what’s your climate plan?

Iowa City Student Climate Strikers demonstrate on Valentine’s Day 2020, week 53 of their strike. — via Massimo Bigers on Twitter

We are writing as concerned high school students in Iowa.

We are writing to ask you three questions:

What is your climate emergency plan? Governors in 24 other states, including neighboring Wisconsin and Illinois, have committed to the U.S. Climate Alliance, and to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 26-28 percent by 2025.

Do you plan to appoint a Climate Change Advisory Council, which was originally established in 2007?

Would you agree to meet with high school students to discuss our concerns about our climate crisis in Iowa today?

As you know, historic flooding has had a devastating impact on Iowans — and our state economy. According to the recent study, “An Uncertain Future for Iowa: The Outlook for Iowa Communities and Flooding as our Climate Changes,” these impacts are “still small compared with what is projected over the next few decades under moderate and higher emission scenarios.”

We are proud of our state’s leadership in renewable energy, especially in wind energy production. However, even with such great wind energy endeavors, our state registered a 3.3 percent increase in our greenhouse gas emissions, according to the latest report released by your Department of Natural Resources. The report concluded that statewide Iowa greenhouse gas emissions are projected to increase from 137.40 to 145.79 metric tons by 2030.

According to a report by The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, “human-caused emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) would need to fall by about 45 percent from 2010 levels by 2030, reaching ‘net zero’ around 2050,” if we hope to avert irreversible consequences from climate change.

Thank you for your time. We look forward to hearing your response to our questions.

Massimo Paciotto Biggers
Alex Howe