House Committee on Foreign Affairs
Congressman Tom Lantos (D-CA), Chairman
May 23, 2007
Contact: Lynne Weil, 202-225-5021
Bipartisan Legislation to Reinvigorate U.S. Action on Climate Change Passes Committee, Now on Its Way to the House
Washington, DC – The House Committee on Foreign Affairs today overwhelmingly approved legislation to step up U.S. involvement in stopping global warming and urging the Administration to take a true leadership role in this matter of international urgency.
“This bill signals a turning point in United States engagement with the international community on global warming,” Chairman Tom Lantos (D-CA) said before the committee voted 29-16 to support the bill. “No longer will we debate and delay endlessly concerning this crisis. We will finally act to curtail global warming in a far-reaching and significant way.”
The International Climate Cooperation Re-engagement Act (H.R. 2420), which is co-sponsored by Congressmen Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Ed Markey (D-MA), underscores the global consensus that the concentration of greenhouse gasses in the earth’s atmosphere must be reduced through a coordinated international response. It mandates serious U.S. re-engagement in the effort to reach a global agreement that requires binding emissions mitigation commitments from all the major emitters, including China, India, and Brazil. And it supports energy export policy and assistance programs that will promote clean-energy production in even the poorest countries.
Where currently low-level negotiators have been sent by the United States to key international meetings on climate change, under the new legislation the U.S. representatives to critical meetings would be senior diplomats with instructions to secure binding commitments for reform. The bill also allocates money to the US Agency for International Development to work with developing nations to improve energy efficiency and to bolster the regulatory and financial environments for adopting clean-energy technologies.
The legislation is now expected to go to the House for a vote in June or July. It is intended to be part of a larger, comprehensive climate-change legislative package that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has asked all relevant House committees to undertake.