On Senate Floor: Shaheen Underscores Impact of Climate Change on Granite State Environment, Wildlife & Economy

November 29, 2018

**Shaheen’s Remarks Follow the Release of the Trump Administration’s Report on Climate Change Which Shows Significant Implications on Human Health and other Societal and Environmental Elements**

Watch Shaheen’s remarks in full here.

(Washington, DC) – Last night, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) spoke on the Senate floor highlighting how climate change is negatively affecting New Hampshire and the nation, and underscored the serious environmental, economic and public health consequences that are looming unless meaningful action is taken to combat the ongoing threat to New Hampshire’s way of life. Shaheen discussed how the changes in temperature are influencing fall foliage and maple production, as well as effects on New Hampshire wildlife, including the moose population and fisheries. Shaheen’s remarks come in response to a report on the effects of climate change that was released by the Trump administration last week. 

“The report makes it abundantly clear that every American – every American – is affected by climate change, and the threat it poses will get worse unless we take action,” said Shaheen. She went on to discuss how the effects of climate change, specifically rising temperatures that are shortening the fall foliage season, hurt New Hampshire’s outdoor recreation economy, impacting hunting, fishing, skiing, snowboarding and more, all of which contribute more than $4 billion to New Hampshire’s economy.

Shaheen continued, “If we fail to act on climate change, we’re going to see a steep loss of jobs in revenue that is going to affect our outdoor recreation industry. And it’s going to affect our traditional maple syrup industry. New Hampshire produces more than 100,000 gallons of maple syrup annually—that makes it the third largest maple syrup producer among the New England states. Maple syrup is entirely dependent on weather conditions – we’re already seeing the impact that these [weather] changes are having.” 

Addressing the impact on Granite State wildlife, Shaheen said, “Because of milder winters due to climate change, ticks and other insects aren’t dying off. That leads to infestations of our wildlife and trees. And according to New Hampshire’s Fish and Game Department, the estimated moose population in New Hampshire has decreased by more than 50 percent since the mid-1990s. That story is even worse for moose calves. A recent study by researchers at the University of New Hampshire found that winter ticks are the primary cause of an unprecedented 70 percent death rate of calves over a three-year period... And to quote Dr. Peter Pekins, a professor at UNH who is a lead author on the study: ‘The iconic moose is rapidly becoming the new poster child for climate change in parts of the Northeast.” 

In closing, Shaheen reaffirmed, “Through smart energy policies, through thoughtful conservation measures, we can stop climate change from reaching dangerous, irreversible levels — but we have to act now.” 

Earlier this month, the Trump administration released an assessment by the U.S. Global Change Research Program, which is a federally-mandated analysis on the effects of climate change, and projects major trends for the subsequent 25 to 100 years. The assessment is delivered to Congress and the President every four years. The report released last week shows that our world is already experiencing the effects of climate change and finds that changes in the likelihood or severity of recent extreme weather events, such as hurricanes and wildfires, can now be attributed with increasingly higher confidence to manmade warming. The analysis estimates that by 2090, global warming could cost the United States economy more than $500 billion a year in crop damage, lost labor and extreme weather damages. The report details the profound impact climate change is having, and will continue to have, on the Northeast region of the United States’ environment, economy and public health. The report also praises the Northeast region’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and suggests that it could serve as a model for the nation.

Senator Shaheen has led efforts in the Senate to combat climate change. As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Shaheen traveled to Paris to participate in high-level discussions at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference that led to the international Paris climate accord. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Shaheen helped secure increased funding for several energy efficiency and renewable energy programs at the Department of Energy as part of the omnibus funding bill for fiscal year 2018. Shaheen has also consistently spoken out in opposition to the President’s anti-environment agenda, and cosponsored legislation that would rescind President Trump’s anti-climate executive order and restore our nation’s leadership role in the fight against global climate change.