Chair Castor Statement on Fifth Anniversary of Paris Agreement
WASHINGTON - Chair Kathy Castor of the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis released the following statement on Thursday, ahead of the fifth anniversary of the global climate pact known as the Paris Agreement:
"Under the leadership of President-elect Joe Biden, the United States is ready to renew its pledge to the Paris Agreement and declare its strong commitment to solving the climate crisis," said Chair Castor. "As we turn the page on the Trump Administration, the days of mocking experts, endangering public health, and ignoring the need for climate action are over. Instead, the Biden administration will shepherd a new era of climate progress, as we endeavor to reduce pollution, protect our lands and ocean, and ensure clean air and water for communities across the nation.
"President-elect Biden understands that investing in clean energy will also lead to long-lasting economic growth, opening exciting new career paths for millions of Americans and creating good-paying, union jobs. It's hard to overstate the economic benefits of climate action, which will make our small businesses more resilient while also reducing hospitalizations, lost work days, and other climate-fueled harms that threaten American workers.
"Rejoining the Paris Agreement and working to reach our climate goals will be good for America. That's why the House of Representatives passed my bill, the Climate Action Now Act, last year to prevent Trump from retreating from our climate goals. And it's why so many governors, mayors, tribal leaders, businesses, and institutions have doubled down on climate solutions and clean energy investments.
"In the absence of leadership from the Trump White House, diverse sectors of American society have stepped up to declare that America is all in, and they've made incredible strides towards producing clean electricity, reducing emissions, and pushing for environmental justice. As President-elect Biden prepares to take office, he will benefit from the great progress made by these bold leaders. And they, in turn, can now rely on a president who will follow the science and who shares their vision of a clean energy future."
- Five years ago, on December 12, 2015, the United States joined nearly 200 countries in finalizing the landmark Paris Agreement, a global commitment to accelerate the actions and investments needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and keep global average temperatures well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
- On June 1, 2017, President Trump announced his intention to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement. The Trump Administration filed its notice of withdrawal on November 4, 2019; after a one-year waiting period, the U.S. formally withdrew from the Paris Agreement on November 4, 2020.
- On May 12, 2019, a few months after Democrats regained the House majority, the House of Representatives passed, with a bipartisan vote, Chair Castor’s Climate Action Now Act, or H.R. 9, to prevent the government from using any funds to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement. In the Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to bring the bill to a vote.
- This summer, the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis Democrats released the majority staff report Solving the Climate Crisis: The Congressional Action Plan for a Clean Energy Economy and a Healthy, Resilient, and Just America. This report provides a roadmap for Congress—a Climate Crisis Action Plan—to build a prosperous, clean energy economy that values workers, advances environmental justice, and is prepared to meet the challenges of the climate crisis.