April 13, 2021
House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis
H2-359 Ford Building
Washington, DC 20515
Dear House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis,
As the three trade associations representing the U.S. outdoor industry, we are sending a letter in support of your hearing this week, “Making the Case for Climate Action: The Growing Risks and Costs of Inaction.”
Our members, outdoor gear manufacturers, retailers and ski resorts, make up the majority of the outdoor industry that generates over $778 billion in U.S. consumer spending annually and supports 7.6 million jobs. As an industry
that is inextricably linked to the natural environment, we are sharply tuned into the impacts of climate change.
Climate change is threatening our communities, infrastructure and economy. The Fourth National Climate Assessment identified outdoor recreation and tourism as key sectors that will be negatively impacted by climate change. Longer and hotter summers, prolonged droughts, increasingly devastating forest fires, rising sea levels, warming waters, reduced river flows and unreliable snowpack are all impacting the outdoor recreation economy. The unpredictability that comes with climate change presents challenges for outdoor recreation businesses with respect to planning, staffing, inventory, capital investments, and other key decision-making. Changes in snowpack and earlier snowmelt affect not just ski resorts, but fly fishing and rafting as well. The record 2020 wildfires, intensified by drought conditions across the West, profoundly impacted rural communities and could cost up
to $150 billion in economic losses.
There is no time to wait to address climate change, and we support your efforts to increase the urgency to address
it in Washington. Many of our member-businesses are already taking-action, setting ambitious science-based emissions targets and working to reduce their carbon footprints through our respective organization’s climate programs. But the private sector cannot do this alone – we need systemic change that only a strong national climate policy can deliver.
To achieve this, our organizations support:
- Prioritizing BIPOC communities in any climate and infrastructure investments, as well as those communities impacted in the transition to a clean energy economy.
- Curbing carbon emissions across the largest-emitting sectors.
- Placing a price on carbon pollution to incentivize emissions reductions.
- Fostering investments to accelerate the transition to a zero-emissions economy including research, jobs and green infrastructure.
- Providing incentives for renewable energy and storage, cleaner transportation, clean technology innovation and natural climate solutions.
Our trade associations – representing more than 1,500 businesses with operations across all 50 states – have united against this common threat because together, we can be a stronger voice for the climate policies urgently needed to protect the places that we live, and the future of our industry. We know that addressing climate change is an opportunity to position our country for a successful, net-zero future and support a healthy outdoor recreation experience for all.
National Ski Areas Association, Lakewood, CO
Outdoor Industry Association, Boulder, CO
Snowsports Industries America, Park City, UT