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As COP26 Continues, US Advocates Push for Domestic Action

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Scientists believe climate change made Hurricane Sandy, which struck the Northeast, worse. (Tech. Sgt. Matt Hecht/NJ Air National Guard)
Scientists believe climate change made Hurricane Sandy, which struck the Northeast, worse. (Tech. Sgt. Matt Hecht/NJ Air National Guard)
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. -- As leaders from around the world meet in Glasgow, the United States' plan to tackle climate change is coming into focus.

The Build Back Better Act in Congress would invest about $550 billion to cut the country's carbon emissions.

The United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) is taking place in Glasgow, Scotland, through Friday.

Caren Fitzpatrick, a commissioner in Atlantic County, hopes countries can come up with plans at COP26 to tackle the issue together.

"It's a small world, and if Europe is doing it and Canada's doing it but the United States is not doing it, it's not going to work for anybody," Fitzpatrick asserted.

Last week, Congress passed a $1 trillion infrastructure package. Supporters are now pushing for a bigger budget reconciliation measure, which they say gives the Biden administration the tools it needs to cut the country's carbon pollution to half of 2005 levels by 2030.

Republicans remain opposed to the legislation, saying it's too costly. A potential vote on it could come next week.

Fitzpatrick pointed out rising sea levels are affecting Atlantic City, with roads to the city flooding more often. She noted the back bay area of Atlantic City is especially prone to flooding.

"It's so bad that children can't even go to school sometimes," Fitzpatrick observed. "They can't get out of their houses because their street is flooded due to the tidal changes that happen twice a day. So we have to time our travel sometimes with the moon and the tide."

Fitzpatrick believes we have no choice but to act as soon as we can.

"We're late to this, and we have to do it now," Fitzpatrick contended. "It has to be done even though it's painful, and the government has to lead in this."