June 10, 2019

Wyden, Merkley Introduce Bill Directing Trump Administration to Meet Paris Climate Agreement Standards

In 2017, Trump announced his intention to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement - making the United States the only country to reject the climate accords

Washington, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley have introduced legislation with a group of 44 senators, directing the Trump administration to meet the standards established by the historic Paris Climate Agreement.

The legislation – the International Climate Accountability Act – would prevent the president from using funds to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord. Instead, the bill directs the Trump administration to develop a strategic plan for the country to meet its commitment under the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, which the United States joined with nearly 200 other nations. The bill also makes clear that the Paris Climate Agreement is critical to strengthening international cooperation to reduce global greenhouse emissions and hold high-emission nations accountable, and recognizes the important role the Agreement plays in protecting and advancing U.S. economic interests and foreign policy priorities around the globe.

“No matter how much Trump tries to bury his head in the sand, climate change is real and it’s here. Withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement will only set back America’s environmental leadership and quicken the destruction of our planet,” Wyden said. “If Donald Trump continues to deny science, Congress must force his hand.”

“We can’t stop President Trump from holding bizarre, anti-science climate denial beliefs, but we can work to make sure those beliefs don’t damage Americans’ health and livelihoods,” Merkley said. “Climate chaos is a global crisis, and we need every nation on the front lines of this battle. America can and should lead the world to meet this challenge.”

In addition to Wyden and Merkley, the International Climate Accountability Act was introduced by Senators Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., Bob Menendez, D-N.J., Tom Carper, D-Del., Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., Kamala Harris, D-Calif., Ed Markey, D-Mass., Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., Tina Smith, D-Minn., Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Cory Booker, D-N.J., Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Jack Reed, D-R.I., Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., Chris Coons, D-Del., Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Debbie Stabenow. D-Mich., Tim Kaine, D-Va., Patty Murray, D-Wash., Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., Tom Udall, D-N.M., Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Angus King, I-Maine, Ben Cardin, D-Md., Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., Bob Casey, D-Pa., Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., Chris Murphy, D-Conn., Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisc., Michael Bennet, D-Colo., Gary Peters, D-Mich., Jon Tester, D-Mont., Doug Jones, D-Ala., and Maria Cantwell, D-Wash.

The legislation has been endorsed by the Center for American Progress, BlueGreen Alliance, Earthjustice, Environment America, Environmental Defense Fund, League of Conservation Voters, National Wildlife Federation, Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, Union of Concerned Sciences and additional organizations listed here in a letter of support.

Congresswoman Kathy Castor, D-Fla., introduced companion legislation, which passed the House of Representatives last month.

Text of the legislation is available here.