American Lung Association Applauds Rhode Island’s Act on Climate as “An Example for States Across the Nation”

The American Lung Association in Rhode Island applauds the Rhode Island State legislature for passing the Act on Climate and Governor Dan McKee for signing this landmark legislation into law. The legislation passed the State Senate on March 16th, 33-4, the House on March 23rd, 53-22, and both chambers passed the companion bills on April 6th before the bill was transmitted to the Governor’s desk for signing. 

The American Lung Association’s Senior Manager of Advocacy in Rhode Island, Daniel Fitzgerald said, “Climate change is undoubtedly a public health issue, and one that creates disproportionate impacts across Rhode Island’s diverse communities. This new law will advance critically important work of reducing harmful pollution through clear, enforceable climate pollution reduction standards, paving the way for improved air quality, stronger public health outcomes, and easier breathing for Rhode Island residents.

“We thank Senator Euer, Representative Carson and Governor Dan McKee for their leadership on this issue and look forward to celebrating with Rhode Islanders as they reap the health benefits of reduced emissions and cleaner air.”

According to the American Lung Association’s 2020 State of the Air report, all Rhode Island counties earned “F” grades for ozone pollution, which forms through tailpipe and other pollutants mixing in the atmosphere on hot, sunny days. These conditions are increasingly associated with our changing climate. Exposure to ozone pollution can have dangerous and even deadly impacts, including asthma attacks, increased risk of respiratory infections, and potentially deadly consequences for people with lung diseases.

Fitzgerald concluded, “We thank Governor Dan McKee for signing the Rhode Island Act on Climate into law. The law will set strategies, programs, and actions to meet economy-wide enforceable targets for greenhouse gas emissions reductions by 45% by 2030, 80% by 2040 and net-zero emissions by 2050. We hope Rhode Island can serve as an example for states across the nation to prioritize the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.” 

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