Foreign Affairs Committee votes to recommit to Paris Agreement
WASHINGTON — Members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee voted 24-16 today in favor of H.R. 9 “The Climate Action Now” Act. This is the final step in moving this critical legislation, which boasts more than 190 co-sponsors, to the House floor.
“Climate change is a direct threat to the national security of the United States… The time for action to avoid the worst effects of climate change is rapidly closing. We must demonstrate to the rest of the world and to future generations that we’re still committed to taking on this fight,” said Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel of New York.
This legislation would require the United States to remain in the Paris climate agreement, which President Donald Trump has vowed to quit, and would keep the country on track to achieve benchmarks set by the Paris accord. It would ensure that the United States meets its international commitment to cut carbon emissions by at least 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. Clearly, a concerted global action is necessary ‘to combat climate change and to accelerate and intensify the actions and investments needed for a sustainable low carbon future,’ according to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Andrea McGimsey, the senior director of Environment America’s Global Warming Solutions Campaign, issued the following statement:
“Thanks to Congressional leaders – in particular Foreign Affairs Chairman Engel – for taking this crucial next step in bringing the Climate Action Now Act to the full House for a vote. This gives members of Congress an important opportunity to reassert our standing as a leader on the critical issue of climate change.
“The “Climate Action Now” Act is vital because it makes sure the United States keeps its pledge on the Paris Climate agreement, recommitting to carbon emission targets we already voluntarily set. This is necessary if we want to ratchet down carbon pollution in order to stave off the worst impacts of climate change.
“We must act now, and we must do so decisively. We are seeing climate-driven tragedies across the country in communities such as Paradise, California and Mexico Beach, Florida. This should galvanize all elected leaders to get to work on strong climate solutions and protecting the people they represent.
“The United States possesses all the skills required to successfully combat climate change. As long as we make it a priority, we can achieve a climate-friendly future with 100 percent clean energy.
“Environment America fully supports H.R. 9, and we look forward to working with Congressional leaders and anybody, no matter their political party or geographical location, who wants to join in climate action now.”