Dozens of House Democrats and one Republican introduced legislation Friday meant to demonstrate congressional support for the Paris climate change agreement.
The short, nonbinding resolution would declare that Congress “reaffirms its commitment” to the 2015 pact that every other nation in the world has signed onto, and that the United States “should not withdraw.” The measure would not mandate that the U.S. return to the agreement.
The move is designed to rebuke President Trump’s 2017 announcement that the U.S. would pull out of the landmark global accord, under which nearly 200 countries made nonbinding pledges to limit or reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“I’m glad my colleagues on both sides of aisle are joining me on this bipartisan resolution to set the record straight and support the Paris agreement on climate action,” Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.), a lead sponsor of the legislation along with Reps. Don Beyer (D-Va.) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), said in a statement.
“The Still-In Resolution is an important message that the world desperately needs to hear,” Huffman said. “It’s by no means the only thing this Congress needs to do on the climate crisis, but it’s an important starting point.”
“Climate change must be addressed proactively with leaders from both sides of the aisle working to protect our planet,” Fitzpatrick said in Friday’s statement. “I continue to urge the administration not to leave the Paris Climate Accord — but in the meantime, Congress should send a message to the world: the people of the United States remain committed to pursuing bipartisan solutions to address climate change and protect our environment.”
Fifty-eight other Democrats have signed on as initial sponsors.
Despite Trump’s announcement, the United States is still in the pact, meaning it’s still expected to live up to the pledge former President Obama made to cut emissions 26 percent to 28 percent by 2025, when compared to 2005 levels.
The United States cannot fully withdraw from the agreement until November 2020 at the earliest.