States with poor climate policy ‘overlap’ with those seeking to limit rights, Kamala Harris says
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) called Thursday for the United States to expand its climate policy beyond the Paris accord to address global inequities related to climate.
In a CNN town hall Thursday, Harris told a nearly full auditorium of mostly young people who are seeking greater rights for workers.
“We’re the only country in the world that’s still selling sweatshops,” she said. “We’re having companies say, ‘We’re happy to pay you less because the market is telling us we’re going to be competitive if we work fewer hours.’ They say these aren’t evil companies. They say ‘we’re making good decisions.’ And they’re paying us less and they’re telling us we can never have as much power.”
Harris, who was the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, introduced legislation last month to create a national “climate justice fund” to reduce the barriers faced by people who live in climate-impacted areas.
This week, as the Senate debated whether to approve a continuing resolution and raise the nation’s debt ceiling, Harris asked for the Congress to advance her climate bill.
“We can do this,” she said on Thursday. “We know a lot about what it takes to create a climate-justice fund. We know what it takes to make sure that there’s a path to employment for anyone who can’t get it in this country.”
Harris said she’d be proud to sign the bill into law and noted that the president has previously made climate change a focus of his administration.
When it comes to the impacts of climate change — which she said are already being felt in her state of California — Harris said she’d be proud to sign legislation to reduce emissions.
“When you see, say, a little kid in school struggling at the moment with the heat, if we can’t fix that in our country, we are not going to have the future we need,” she said. “We are not going to have the future we want if we’re not all working together.”
Harris was the keynote speaker at the People for Climate March in Washington on Thursday, where she discussed the fight to protect water and land, as well as a growing focus on climate and inequality.
The senator said she will sign a climate and labor bill next week that will protect the rights of