As a mom of two kids, air quality is particularly important to me. I’ve had to rush my infant child to the emergency room as he struggled to breathe.

Too many parents are now sharing that terrifying experience because our air quality has deteriorated so badly. No one should have to check air pollution reports before letting their kids play outside or go for a hike.

Stacy Jayawardene

I worry about long-term effects our poor air quality is having on their health. Now, aside from everyday parent concerns, I stress about what an increasingly warming world means for them. I’m frightened for their future.

On a positive note, a few weeks ago with a $500 million investment, former New York Mayor and now the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Climate Action Michael Bloomberg, launched the largest coordinated campaign to beat back the advance of climate change in the United States.

Bloomberg’s Beyond Carbon campaign will accelerate climate action nationwide and transition the U.S. energy supply from fossil fuels to 100% clean renewable sources.

Clean energy means cleaner air. Bloomberg is wisely working with advocates around the country, building on the leadership and progress already underway, in places like Colorado.

This is great news for Colorado kids. Colorado is a leader in advancing clean energy and cleaning our air and we, too, are committed to taking action.

Our state legislature just passed the Climate Action Plan to Reduce Carbon Pollution. Signed by Gov. Jared Polis this spring, it puts Colorado on a path to reduce carbon pollution 26% by 2025, 50% by 2030, and 90% by 2050.

Beyond Carbon is a bold plan and exactly what the nation needs now in the face of minimal engagement from our federal leaders.

We need immediate action across all economic sectors in every region of the country to achieve carbon pollution reduction goals that will make a meaningful difference for the health and future of our kids. We must transition as quickly as possible to push back on climate change and the costly crises it brings.

READ: Colorado Sun opinion columnists.

No one can dispute that we are increasingly faced with serious environmental and economic impacts due to heat, drought, floods and fires of a magnitude we’ve never seen before. 2017 and 2018 were the hottest years on record.

It’s becoming too hot, wet or dry for some species to survive. Increasing air pollution is causing more and dire public health problems, jacking up the rates of heart disease, asthma, respiratory diseases, and cancer. Our kids are particularly susceptible to the damage dirty air causes to our health.

Scientists overwhelmingly agree these phenomena and the havoc they wreak are the result of climate change, and that a major contributor to climate change is the pollution caused by the burning of fossil fuels.

We are further advised that if we transition to using clean energy by mid-century, we can change the dangerous course we are on and avoid the worst outcomes. 

Beyond Carbon could help quicken the changeover from burning dirty fuels to using renewable energy sources with local investments.

We applaud Mayor Bloomberg’s passion to combat climate change and encourage his investment in the meaningful work going on in the West and especially in Colorado right now. 

Colorado has just set some of the strongest changeover targets in the country. We invite Mr. Bloomberg to visit with us, our state leaders and community groups that are the embodiment of Beyond Carbon. We welcome Beyond Carbon’s support to reduce the pollution that causes climate change and sick kids.

There is a lot riding on how we deal with climate change. My kids’ and all our kids’ health and future are at the top of that list.

They are counting on us to do everything we can to protect them. It means the world to have Mayor Bloomberg’s energy and generosity riding with us.

Stacy Jayawardene is a Centennial mom of two children and is part of the Colorado Moms Know Best network of parents standing up for their children by protecting Colorado’s outdoors and quality of life, especially clean air.

Stacy Jayawardene

Special to The Colorado Sun