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Manufacturers: Candidates Should Focus on Real Solutions to Climate Change

Climate change is a pressing global issue that requires serious attention from policymakers. For good reason, it has become a top-tier issue among the 2020 presidential candidates. The Manufacturers’ Accountability Project appreciates the fact that the topic has been, and likely will continue to be, a focal point in several presidential campaign debates.

As the campaign continues, we encourage all candidates, regardless of party, to offer serious, detailed ideas for tackling this global challenge—including working collaboratively with manufacturers. We applaud proposals that call for new investments in research and development for how we source and use energy, challenge manufacturers to innovate green technologies and seek to improve infrastructure across this country. Manufacturers are “all in” on finding real, long-lasting solutions to climate change.

Manufacturers have been a driving force in implementing cutting-edge innovations to reduce emissions, reducing the carbon footprint of our products by 21 percent over the past decade while increasing our value to the economy by 18 percent. We can make more progress in our factories and help others meet their challenges by working collaboratively with federal, state and local governments on climate readiness plans.

The National Association of Manufacturers and our members are actively working on ways manufacturers can help reach aggressive emissions reduction goals. The federal government can play a vital role—by working on carbon mitigation legislation; considering proposals to scale up the adoption of energy- and water-efficient products and technologies; creating pathways for the deployment of new technologies like carbon capture, utilization and storage; and engaging the international community so that progress in America can be shared and more.

The NAM is working hard to facilitate these efforts. It launched the Energy Advance Center to improve carbon capture utilization and storage policies and technologies. NAM also supports the Clean Industrial Technology Act, which would “create a technical assistance program to help local communities and states evaluate and incentivize the adoption of technologies that reduce industrial greenhouse gases.” The NAM also supports federal programs that help reduce energy use.

Taking on climate change requires strong leadership and investing in our future. It also takes resisting counterproductive measures, such as suing companies over climate change. Climate change is a shared, global problem, not the fault of any one company or industry. It may be politically advantageous, particularly during campaign season, to point fingers, but passing the blame is not how progress is made. Climate change is a societal issue that requires a societal solution.

People who care about climate change, our economy and our way of life should call on the presidential candidates to advance meaningful solutions to improve our lives and reduce emissions. Innovation and collaboration are keys to this successful path forward.