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Americans — yes, Americans — are showing the U.N. how to really fight climate change

Americans — yes, Americans — are showing the U.N. how to really fight climate change
Participants at the closing ceremony of the U.N. climate summit in Katowise, Poland, on Dec. 15. (Marek Zimney / EPA/REX)

To the editor: What came out of the United Nations climate change summit in Poland pales in comparison to what's happening in our own Congress. There, some of our representatives have put a flag in the ground for real action on climate change in 2019 with the introduction of the bipartisan Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act.

A bill by the same name will be introduced when the new Congress convenes, and in addition to being effective and fair to American families and businesses, it includes a tariff that would move other countries to follow our lead.

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In effect, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act is the United Nations with teeth. It would set a standard for the world to copy and provide a penalty for nations that do not follow our lead. The U.N. has set goals for decades but never with the muscle to back them up.

Mark Tabbert, Newport Beach

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To the editor: While the United Nations failed to bring about specific measures that countries must take to avert the catastrophic effects of climate change, the good news is that local governments are taking action.

In Southern California, the county of Ventura and nine cities are setting a new standard for how local governments can respond to our climate crisis by virtually eliminating harmful emissions from their energy supplies within the next six months.

These communities, with a combined population of 750,000 people, have made 100% renewable energy the default plan with the Clean Power Alliance, a new locally operated community choice energy agency that will serve 3 million people in 31 municipalities throughout Los Angeles and Ventura counties.

Solutions to our climate crisis are readily available. Governments must now embrace them.

Michelle Ellison, Ojai

The writer is a Clean Power Alliance board member.

Follow the Opinion section on Twitter @latimesopinion and Facebook

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