Durham state senator among leaders talking climate at UN Summit in Scotland

Joel Brown Image
ByJoel Brown via WTVD logo
Friday, November 12, 2021
EMBED <>More Videos

Since it kicked off two weeks ago, the U.N. climate summit in Glasgow has been a who's who of global leadership.

Since it kicked off two weeks ago, the U.N. climate summit in Glasgow has been a who's who of global leadership -- a major moment in efforts to address the threat of climate change.

Natalie Murdock is right there in the middle of the moment. Durham's District 2 state senator was invited to the summit as part of the National Leadership Council for Elected Officials to Protect America.

"They're doing some amazing work that I do hope to bring to North Carolina at some point. But we are talking with other colleagues and leaders," Murdock said in a virtual interview from Scotland.

On the sidelines of the summit, Senator Murdock has met face-to-face with EPA administrator Michael Regan. And in the main hall, there's been many big promises from the world's biggest leaders.

President Joe Biden pledging the U.S. will achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

"My administration is working overtime to show that our climate commitment is action, not words," Biden said.

"So that really is why we're here," said Murdock. "Because the collective work we do as state legislators will contribute to us doing a better job in the United States. Because we have so much time to make up for."

Outside the summit, it's been a daily drumbeat of protest. Environmentalists who denounce the summit as a farce: trillions of dollars of promises to curb global warming that nations failed to make good on in the past.

Senator Murdock posted photos on Instagram attending one of the protests. This self-proclaimed "green brown girl"' who went from environmental activist to a seat in the legislature.

"We need more voices of color in this space," Murdock said. "African American communities are oftentimes the first to bear the brunt of pollution and climate change and sea level rise. Folks that live in low lying areas that aren't always the most valuable land. So we have a very specific, unique perspective to bring."

From communities of color in the Sandhills to down East, the impact of harsher hurricanes in low-lying areas is apparent.

Last month, Governor Roy Cooper signed a bipartisan energy bill into law that aims to make North Carolina carbon neutral by 2050. Murdock helped shape that bill on the Agriculture, Energy and Environmental committee. She says she's hoping to put more policy remedies into law with some of the lessons learned in Scotland.