Washington, D.C. – Today, Representative Gregory W. Meeks, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued the following statement after the House of Representatives held a hearing with Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry on driving a global, whole-of-society response to climate action:

“Today’s hearing with Special Presidential Envoy John Kerry has reinforced the urgency in our taking decisive and immediate action to address the existential threat of climate change. As global warming approaches 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, the consequences will be grave. Extreme weather events are growing more severe and frequent each year and will require large-scale investment to mitigate, adapt, and develop resilience. As the climate warms, we will face increased drought, flooding, and wildfires, as well as a changing ocean chemistry and rising sea levels, pollution, and climate migration—all of which will impact food and water security, and risks destabilizing the most exposed regions. Those who can move, will, driving migration; while those who cannot, will seek to adapt to ever-increasing challenges.

“I remain optimistic, however. America, in close coordination with our international partners, can overcome this threat through innovation and collective action. Doing so makes environmental and economic sense. A clean energy economy will create tens of thousands of good, high paying American jobs. It will ensure the United States will not be left behind as the world shifts to a green technology future. And, it will safeguard our planet for future generations.

“I look forward to working closely with Special Envoy Kerry and the Biden Administration on our goal of a 50-52 percent reduction in economy-wide net greenhouse gas pollution in 2030. Congress will continue to explore legislative options to support innovative approaches with civil society, the private sector, and people on the frontline of climate change."