- As Delivered –
Washington—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today delivered the following remarks at a press conference on the introduction of H.R. 9 Climate Action Now Act:
"Thank you, thank you very much. I want to thank all of you for being here today. I want to especially thank our Speaker, who has made this front and center. It’s just so important the New York City metropolitan area, of course, also suffered with hurricane superstorm Sandy, which some people called the perfect storm, but we have a lot of perfect storms, if we sit and twiddle our thumbs and do nothing about it for the next several years.
"Before we had the election, I got together all the members – Democratic members of the Foreign Affairs committee – to see what priority would be in the new Congress. And overwhelmingly the number one was global warming, global climate change. We feel so strongly about it on a global level.
"So as Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, I view climate change as a threat to global security—and to our country’s future. I also believe that the United States is strongest on the global stage when we’re working shoulder-to-shoulder with our friends and partners around the world.
"And 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. And at times like these, the world usually looks to the United States for leadership.Then came along President Trump. Instead of leading, he withdrew, retreating from the world stage. It’s really absolutely shameful.
"We are already seeing the consequences of inaction. Natural disasters, famines, instability, human suffering. So addressing climate change is a critical foreign policy priority, and it’s up to Congress to lead. And we will lead. That’s why, next week, we’ll be holding a hearing on the dangers of climate change to our national security, in the Foreign Affairs Committee.
"Today’s legislation sends a message loud and clear to the President and the entire world – we are not backing down. 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.
"It's not just smart policy,it’s a moral obligation to our children and our grandchildren, and generations to come. We have to get to the day when we can look at ourselves in the mirror and know we did everything we could to save our planet.
"So, Madame Speaker, thank you. Today’s bill gets us one step closer to that. And you can count on all of us here today to keep up this momentum in the months to come. Thank you."