Wyden Strongly Supports Paris Climate Change Agreement
Senator: Accord’s Achievements Put “Points on the Board” toward a clean environment
Washington, DC – Sen. Ron Wyden today strongly backed the Obama Administration’s decision to sign the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s Paris Agreement on April 22, which coincides with Earth Day in the United States.
Wyden said he proudly signed on to the April 21 letter sent to President Obama by Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and nearly 150 lawmakers because it fits perfectly with his approach of “putting points on the board every day” to combat climate change.
“This Friday, we have special reason to celebrate Earth Day with the signing of the landmark Paris agreement on climate change,” Wyden said. “What better way this Earth Day to celebrate the work we are doing to move us from a dirty, fossil fuel-based world, to a clean, renewable energy world.”
Among the highlights of Wyden’s work fighting climate change are securing the longest extensions in nearly a decade for wind and solar tax incentives at the end of last year; and this past week passing two clean, renewable energy bills in the Senate as part of a broad, bipartisan energy package that will boost geothermal and marine power generation.
And he is also pushing to pass his technology-neutral tax provisions to lower carbon in our atmosphere.
“We must devote ourselves to protecting the earth like parents doing everything in their power to protect their children from harm,” Wyden said. “Ultimately, we are the guardians of our earth. And that duty is ours 365 days a year.”
The full text of the April 21 letter is below
The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States of America
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 205000
April 21, 2016
Dear Mr. President:
We write in strong support of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s Paris Agreement calling for global cooperation on addressing the causes and effects of climate change. We fully support the United States’ decision to sign the agreement on the first day it will be open for signature, April 22, 2016, and we hope that other nations will follow our lead. For years, the world has looked to the United States for international leadership and addressing climate change is no different. Through your leadership, the United States is fulfilling a responsibility to lead international action addressing climate change resulting in unprecedented cooperation on the development of the historic Paris Agreement. Your decision to make the United States one of the first parties to sign the agreement is a further demonstration of U.S. leadership and is an important step towards ensuring the Paris Agreement is implemented quickly and that the global community begins in earnest towards achieving the significant goals of the agreement.
No country is insulated from the increasingly present and escalating effects of climate change. The United States faces numerous challenges: prolonged droughts that affect our food security and water supplies, sea-level rise that threatens millions of Americans residing near our coasts, and expanded range of wildfires and prolonged wildfire seasons are just a few examples. These threats affect the U.S. economy, public health, and national security. Investments to improve the resiliency of our communities at all levels are critically important to our ability to adapt to the impacts of climate change and thrive.
Mitigation of climate change is a national priority that requires national policies to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, like producing significantly more energy from clean and carbon-free sources as a means of achieving the pollution reduction pledge the U.S. made ahead of COP21. Increased investment and deployment of clean energy is sound strategy for reducing carbon pollution that will spur tremendous domestic job growth and expand the U.S. economy.
The United States must also be responsive to climate change’s impact on our allies in the world’s least developed and most vulnerable countries. Defense and national security experts refer to climate change as a “threat multiplier” because of its effects on the safety, stability, and security of many at-risk nations ultimately impacts U.S. security interests. Continued U.S. climate diplomacy and international engagement with our allies, and the most vulnerable nations, will go a long way towards not only saving lives but also preserving global security in the face of uncertain changes in the global environment.
The world must work together to ensure that the goals of the Paris Agreement are realized. U.S. commitment to leadership in this arena has helped start a process that must last beyond your presidency. We are both hopeful that this historic agreement will achieve its monumental goals and stand ready to assist with delivering the United States’ lasting commitments to make the agreement a success - for our children, our grandchildren and future generations to come.
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