WASHINGTON—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today delivered the following remarks at a full committee markup of H.R. 9, the Climate Action Now Act:
“Just last week, we had an impressive panel of military, defense, and international development experts testify about how climate change is a direct threat to the national security of the United States.
“This isn’t news. We’ve known it for decades.
“Climate change is a grave threat that transcends borders. And when we face pressing global security issues, the United States is strongest when we work shoulder-to-shoulder with our friends and partners around the world.
“That’s why the Paris Agreement was such a defining moment for the future of our planet.?The countries of the world came together to face this global crisis.?At times like these, the world usually looks to the United States for leadership. So when President Trump announced his intention to withdraw from this landmark agreement, it showed the world that America is on the retreat. I think it was wrong.
“Every nation in the world has signed on to this Agreement. If we withdraw, we will be the only country unwilling to step up to this challenge. What does that say about America’s role in the world?
“So we can—we must—do better.
“Because we are already seeing the consequences of our inaction.? Natural disasters, famines, instability, human suffering. 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.
“So, today our committee is considering legislation to address this issue and reassert American leadership on the world stage.
“The Climate Action Now Act keeps the United States in the Paris Climate Accord, renewing our country’s pledge to address climate change head-on.
“The Paris Agreement allows every country to determine its own emission-reduction targets, and to develop a public plan for how to meet those targets. This bill follows that same model – it gives the administration total flexibility to decide what approach we need to follow and what kind of technology we need to use to reach our national targets.
“H.R. 9 gives us all an opportunity to show Americans that we hear them, that we take their concerns seriously, and that we are taking action to ensure a healthier, safer and more sustainable future. This should not be a partisan issue.
“I strongly support this measure and I urge my colleagues to do the same.”
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