Pasadena Congresswoman Votes to Keep U.S. in Paris Climate Agreement

Published : Friday, May 3, 2019 | 5:11 AM

Congresswoman Judy Chu, who represents Pasadena and California’s 27th congressional district, has voted to support House Resolution (HR) 9, or the Climate Action Now Act, which would prevent President Donald Trump or any future U.S. president from withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement.

The resolution, which the House of Representatives passed Thursday, would prohibit the use of federal funds to take action to remove the United States from the agreement. It would also require the president to submit an annual plan to Congress outlining the actions the country should take in order to meet its nationally determined contribution to global emissions reductions.

“Climate change is a crisis that demands our immediate action. Its effects are ongoing. And it will impact all of us eventually, whether through worse storms, bigger wildfires, less food and water, or conflicts over resources,” Chu said in a statement after the resolution was adopted. “The good news is, we still have the time and ability to halt the worst effects. That is what the Paris Climate Agreement achieved. This landmark agreement was the first ever to unite 195 countries around the common goal of protecting our planet from the worst impacts of our own actions.”

The Paris Climate Agreement was negotiated in 2015 by representatives of 195 countries with the goal of using voluntary emissions reduction targets specialized for each country to keep global temperatures from rising more than two degrees Celsius over pre-industrial levels. The agreement took effect on November 4, 2016.

Under the terms of the agreement, no country can withdraw before November 4, 2020. With HR-9, Congress intends to bar the use of any funds by the Trump administration, and any subsequent administration, to advance the U.S. withdrawal from the Agreement.

HR-9 will also require the president to come up with a plan for the U.S. to fulfill its obligations. The plan should describe how the U.S. will achieve an economy-wide target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 26 to 28 percent below its 2005 level by 2025, and how the country will use the Paris Agreement’s transparency provisions to confirm that other parties to the agreement are fulfilling their contributions to the agreement.

President Trump announced in June 2017 his intention to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, saying the accord would “undermine (the U.S.) economy,” and “puts (the U.S.) at a permanent disadvantage.”

The announcement was praised by some members of the Republican Party, but drew largely negative reactions from across the political spectrum.

Following the announcement, the governors of several U.S. States, including California, formed the United States Climate Alliance to continue to advance the objectives of the Paris Agreement at the state level.

As of March 12, the Alliance had 22 member states, making up about half of the U.S. population.

“Despite Trump’s efforts, I am proud that my state of California is still leading the way,” Chu said Thursday. “Investments in important technologies like renewable energy, clean cars, and green buildings mean that California is on track to drop our emissions to 80 percent of 1990 levels by 2050. Now, the federal government must follow.”

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