Senator Kirk, the World is Looking for Climate Action (and We Are Too)

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"Too important to ignore."

That is the subject line of a constituent email that Senator Mark Kirk put out yesterday, relating to the problem of climate change.

It is good to hear this because NRDC is in the midst of a two-week run of public education ads highlighting Senator Kirk's vote in June to block climate action. In last month's appropriations bill to fund the Environmental Protection Agency, the Senator had a very clear choice between voting to protect Americans from the ravages of climate change or vote with the polluters. He voted with the polluters.

Which, at first blush, makes his email Monday a bit of a head-scratcher.

You see, last week, he voted in support of the Green Climate fund -- an effort the email described as something to "fund global discussions on clean energy technologies and renewable energy production," but actually funds significant projects to cut greenhouse gas emissions and help developing countries adapt to climate change.

But to address climate change, we cannot just look abroad. This country is the second largest source of carbon pollution in the world. And American leadership on the issue is essential for prompting action overseas--in fact, right after the Obama administration announced the historic Clean Power Plan proposal to cut dangerous carbon pollution from American power plants, China announced its own effort to cut carbon pollution in cooperation with the White House.

If the issue is too important to ignore around the world, it is too important to ignore here in America. Perhaps today's constituent email signals that Senator Kirk will better represent the needs of Illinoisans, the Great Lakes and the rest of the world moving forward.

We hope so. We will keep running our ad on Chicagoland TV and cable stations for a while, just to be sure we are clear on what is at stake.

This post originally appeared on NRDC's Switchboard blog.

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