White House climate adviser emphasizes value of state, local policy at climate summit

White House climate adviser emphasizes value of state, local policy at climate summit
© Getty Images

White House climate adviser Gina McCarthyGina McCarthyOvernight Energy & Environment — White House announces new climate office New White House office to develop climate change policies Kerry: Climate summit 'bigger, more engaged, more urgent' than in past MORE emphasized the value of state and local climate action in remarks Monday morning at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow.

Climate solutions, McCarthy said, are “about how we work with our cities and our small towns [and] what we do in our states to dictate what our values are, and to see them exemplified in our laws and our actions.”

“At some level it’s about the federal government, but change never happens from the top, it always happens from the bottom up,” McCarthy added, citing her own experience working in local and state policy before assuming her federal role.


“Man, it was fun, because you could get things done. You didn’t need huge amounts of money, you needed huge energy and enthusiasm,” she said.

McCarthy credited President BidenJoe BidenCDC working to tighten testing requirement for international travelers On The Money — Powell pivots as inflation rises Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by ExxonMobil — Manchin seeks 'adjustments' to spending plan MORE for what she said was his understanding of this dynamic, saying the federal reconciliation package’s climate provisions are “all about asking states to determine what’s best for them [and] working with local communities to help shape how we spend money.”

“This is a partnership, not a dictatorship. We are a community of one, and this president is investing in that community,” she added. “Because we must recognize that in the end, climate change is not a problem for the planet, it is a problem for us.”

Congressional Democrats are currently negotiating several local and state policy provisions in the reconciliation package, including a potential new grant program to states for reducing carbon emissions.

Climate hawks in Congress, including Sen. Ed MarkeyEd MarkeySenators seek to curb counterfeit toys and goods sold online Senate GOP blocks defense bill, throwing it into limbo Equilibrium/Sustainability — Presented by Southern Company — Pledged money not going to Indigenous causes MORE (D-Mass.), had strongly pushed for the package to pass before the beginning of the COP26 summit Sunday. After Congress failed to accomplish that ahead of the summit, U.S. officials have emphasized the package’s potential to mitigate U.S. emissions at the conference.

The summit is set to conclude Friday, Nov. 12.