Georgia State Senators respond to climate change concerns

Tybee+Island+and+other+Georgia+beaches+hit+by+natural+disaster+caused+or+exacerbated+by+climate+change+have+experienced+%E2%80%9Cmillions+of+dollars+of+damage%E2%80%9D+in+recent+years+%28Atlanta+Magazine%29.+Credit%3A+Isabella+Cordell%0A
Back to Article
Back to Article

Georgia State Senators respond to climate change concerns

Tybee Island and other Georgia beaches hit by natural disaster caused or exacerbated by climate change have experienced “millions of dollars of damage” in recent years (Atlanta Magazine). Credit: Isabella Cordell

Tybee Island and other Georgia beaches hit by natural disaster caused or exacerbated by climate change have experienced “millions of dollars of damage” in recent years (Atlanta Magazine). Credit: Isabella Cordell

Tybee Island and other Georgia beaches hit by natural disaster caused or exacerbated by climate change have experienced “millions of dollars of damage” in recent years (Atlanta Magazine). Credit: Isabella Cordell

Tybee Island and other Georgia beaches hit by natural disaster caused or exacerbated by climate change have experienced “millions of dollars of damage” in recent years (Atlanta Magazine). Credit: Isabella Cordell

Isabella Cordell

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Due to pervasive forest fires and hurricanes across the globe, climate change has become at the forefront of the political landscape, even in Georgia’s legislative body. For instance, House Resolution 48, which prevents oil drilling off of Georgia’s coast and was created in response to climate change concern within Georgia, was passed by a margin of 125-36 last spring (Atlanta Journal Constitution).  

However, the Georgia Senate has had significantly less bills related to climate change passed than the House of Representatives has. In an effort to discover how the Georgia legislature, particularly the Georgia Senate, is countering the environmental issue of climate change, 56 senators were emailed and the responses of the Senators who responded are recorded below.

Senator Sally Harrell (Democrat) – District 40 

“As a state legislator, it is my job to figure out what can be done on the state level to reduce carbon emissions. Though most people think of this as a federal issues, there are many things state and local governments can do as well,” stated Harrell.

Additionally, the state senator offered her solutions to mitigate climate change effects.

“A couple of ideas I have come up with are: 1) promote solar energy, and work to remove obstacles including fees local governments tend to impose; 2) pass policy that provides incentives for the purchase of low or no emission cars; 3) promote clean energy public transit; 2) require the state to update building codes to include codes that reduce the carbon footprint of new buildings,” said Harrell.

Well-known Georgia tourism hub Tybee Island could be in serious danger of erosion, flooding and storm damage due to the effects of climate change. As a result of this, Georgia legislators from any political party in coastal regions tend to be more in favor of countering climate change’s destruction and potential future destruction. Credit: Isabella Cordell

Senator Kay Kirkpatrick (Republican) – District 32

“I do think that climate change is occurring. The solutions are less clear and I am not sure Georgia is contributing more or less than any other state. I don’t think our legislature has passed anything specific related to carbon emissions. There is a bill pending for a tax credit for electric vehicles. Most environmental issues are regulated by Ga EPD or federal EPA,” stated Kirkpatrick.

Senator Dean Burke (Republican) – District 11

“Senator Burke will not be available to participate,” stated Senate Press Office staff member Ines Owens.

Meanwhile, Roswell students have their own opinions on how climate change should best be dealt with in the state legislature. 

“I believe State Senators should actively forge new laws concerning the prevailing issue of climate change,” said senior and The Green Hornets vice-president Elisa Offer.

This story is developing and will be updated.