Green Cities

State lawmakers support Earth Day and protect our environment

The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) is holding its annual summit August 5–8 in Nashville, Tennessee. As momentum builds for the 50th anniversary of Earth Day on April 22, 2020, Earth Day Network is promoting environmental action at the summit.

Lawmakers can take several steps to promote environmental action: They can introduce resolutions that commemorate Earth Day 2020 and sponsor legislation that advances climate action — like comprehensive climate action plans that shift power grids to 100% renewable energy — and tackles issues like plastic pollution, pollinator protection, land and species conservation, sustainable agriculture and water pollution. The National Caucus of Environmental Legislators highlights additional examples of legislation that states have enacted or are considering.

On August 8, the body votes on a series of resolutions and policy goals for the coming year. Among these resolutions is the Save America’s Pollinators Act, which suspends the authorization of neonicotinoid pesticides until their toxicity and effects on pollinators are properly reviewed. States and communities have already acted against the use of these harmful pesticides.

Individuals can also write to their representative, urging Congress to pass the Saving America’s Pollinators Act.

Legislators will vote on other environmental resolutions, like the national strategy to establish wildlife corridors, providing funding for land conservation and wildlife protection to states and communities. Another resolution calls on President Trump to halt offshore oil and gas exploration permits and a place a moratorium on all future offshore oil and gas projects. Each environmental resolution shows states’ commitments to protecting their identities, community health and economies that are tied to tourism, agriculture and fishing.

As the NCSL summit concludes, Earth Day Network will provide updates about the success of these resolutions.