The U.S. House of Representatives today passed H.R. 9, the Climate Action Now Act, to ensure the U.S. honors commitments detailed in the Paris Agreement. The bill also calls on the President to develop a national plan to reduce pollution on track with the goals set in Paris in 2015.
"This is a meaningful step forward to protect our environment and ensure that our children and their children have clean air and clean water," said Rep. Greg Stanton, a co-sponsor of the legislation. "Arizona is already experiencing the effects of climate change--extreme heat, prolonged drought, stress on our water sources, dangerous wildfires--we have to do our part and take bold action to reverse this trend."
The Climate Action Now Act prohibits any federal funds from being used to advance the withdrawal of the U.S. from the Paris Agreement, which President Trump announced was his intention 2017. The central aim of the landmark agreement is for nations around the world to work together to keep the global temperature rise to below two degrees Celsius. In the agreement, the U.S. announced its intent to reduce carbon pollution by 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.
By an overwhelming margin of 5 to 1, Americans say we should stay in the Paris Agreement. The support is far reaching: More than 2,000 businesses and investors, 280 cities and counties and 23 states have independently pledged to meet the U.S.'s commitment to the climate agreement.
Phoenix pledged to do its part in 2017 during Stanton's tenure as mayor. Stanton called Trump's decision to withdraw "disappointing and unfortunate" and said it undermined American leadership around the world. "We can't turn our backs," Stanton said.
Since the start of this Congress, there have been more than 30 hearings on the topic of climate change--across eight full committees and 14 subcommittees, including the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, on which Stanton serves.
Last month, Stanton signed a letter with other freshmen members to ask the Chairwoman and Ranking Member of the Committee on Appropriations to provide robust funding for climate change research programs.