As a new administration and Congress begin their terms in Washington, the NAM is reminding policymakers that manufacturers work hard to safeguard our environment. A longtime advocate of climate policies that promote manufacturing jobs in America, the NAM has now compiled its recommendations in a paper called “The Promise Ahead.”
The big idea: Climate change is a global problem that requires a global solution, which is why it’s critical for the United States to work in tandem with other countries. And while all nations need to be involved in promoting climate action, there should also be room for the kind of science-led innovation that American manufacturers have already demonstrated and will continue to provide.
- As it says in the paper, “Manufacturing holds the key to solving this global challenge. Think about the technologies that will get us there. Clean energy. Carbon capture. Batteries. Microgrids. Efficiency. Advanced vehicles. Manufacturers make these products and technologies and will continue to invent new ones.”
A push for global action: The plan recommends negotiating and ratifying a binding international climate action treaty that is both fair and enforceable, a position the NAM has long held. This will ensure that the United States does not suffer a competitive disadvantage and can lead the way in developing job-creating technologies and products.
A roadmap for results: The plan also offers guidelines for a national approach to climate change, adhering to three core principles that have always guided the NAM’s climate strategy:
- One unified policy: Instead of the patchwork of federal, state and local climate change regulations that manufacturers currently face, the industry needs a clear federal policy that offers predictability, consistency and certainty while meeting science-based targets. Businesses should be able to plan for the future—and shouldn’t have to worry that the policies of today will be different tomorrow.
- A level playing field: Any national policy to address emissions should be economy-wide and apply to all emitters. Congress should develop plans that don’t unduly burden one sector over another, and manufacturers shouldn’t be expected to shoulder the already-high cost of new regulations alone.
- Consumer choice and competitiveness: This policy approach shouldn’t automatically involve a mandated phaseout of any manufactured product. Instead, policymakers should lead with the tools and strategies manufacturers need to improve products, preserving consumer choice and supporting the innovation that manufacturing provides.
Immediate actions: The blueprint also offers some bipartisan actions that could be taken now and reduce emissions immediately. These proposals include the following:
- Investing in energy and water efficiency
- Funding and expanding climate and clean energy R&D programs
- Paving the way for a smart grid
- Commercializing and deploying carbon capture, utilization and storage technology
- Ratifying the Kigali Amendment, which sets a global path for phasing down HFCs
The last word: “It’s remarkable to see the commitments manufacturers are making to the health of our communities, our country and our world—which is why we have consistently led the drive for climate innovation,” said NAM Vice President of Energy and Resources Policy Rachel Jones. “We need a national and international approach that unleashes our efforts. Our plan is designed to create a rallying point for that approach and spur sustainable economic and environmental progress.”