Climate change is a serious issue that has the potential to be devastating to New Jersey, to the entire United States, and to the world as a whole. No reasonable person disputes this fact, and the 2017 hurricane season has demonstrated this urgent need to address it. The 2017 hurricanes killed dozens in the United States and the Caribbean, uprooted hundreds of lives, and wrought billions of dollars in damage. Storms like these, and like the Superstorm that struck New Jersey in 2012, will become more common as the ocean and atmosphere continue to warm.
Over the past ten years, our country has taken great strides in the effort to curb the impact of climate change by enforcing emissions standards at home and by leading the world in planning for a future where we are not all dependent on fossil fuels. In 2015, the world celebrated the outcome of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris, France. This Climate Agreement marked the first coordinated international effort to reduce global carbon emissions and mitigate the effects of climate change. The United States joined 194 countries in agreeing to lower its carbon emissions and to assist still-developing nations to transition away from burning fossil fuels.
Unfortunately, President Trump has decided that the United States of America will cede its leadership role in this historic effort to address one of the most important challenges of our generation by withdrawing our commitments from the Paris Climate Accords. This short-sighted and selfish act not only damages our nation’s credibility abroad, but it also endangers the future of our planet for the sake of scoring political points.
Yet there is still hope. States and cities around the country have remained committed to achieving their own emissions reductions plans, and they are being joined by companies that are dedicated to these goals. The international community will also continue working towards the goal of advancing clean technology.
The United States is the wealthiest and most powerful country in the world. If we get serious about addressing climate change and to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the rest of the world will follow. Congress, as the nation’s legislative arm, has a role to play in this effort and I will continue supporting efforts to restore the American commitment to addressing climate change.
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Last week in Washington, I was assigned to the House Committee on the Budget and introduced legislation addressing health research and international human rights. I met with New Jersey community colleges, members of Local 2369 from the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the New Jersey Clean Cities Coalition and Transportation Energy Partners, and other important stakeholders. Additionally, I cosponsored a resolution to overturn President Trump’s harmful emergency declaration.
Last week in Washington, I marked up several bills in the Foreign Affairs Committee, attended a Foreign Affairs hearing on the Middle East, and discussed updates on the Balkans at a Europe and Eurasia Subcommittee hearing. I also met with numerous groups this week and cosponsored legislation to restore the National Park System and urge the firing of Scott Pruitt.
Last week in Washington, I spoke out against the Administration’s decision to open U.S. shores for drilling, cosponsored legislation to raise wages for federal employees, sent letters regarding property taxes and the National Flood Insurance Program, and attended a meeting and two Foreign Affairs Committee hearings.
As the new year begins, the growing unfinished business that remains is a pressing reminder of the work yet to be done when Congress returns to begin the second session of the 115th Congress on January 8th. Over the year, I have received almost 44,000 calls, letters, faxes and emails from constituents to voice your opinions on issues that have the greatest impact on the 8th District of New Jersey.
Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Sires issued the following statement regarding President Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States’ commitment to the Paris Climate Accords:
Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Sires released the following statement regarding President Trump’s executive actions intended to rollback climate policies:
The 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21), held in Paris, France, concluded on December 12th with a progressive agreement amongst the 195 participating nations to work towards reducing the negative impacts of climate change. The resulting Paris Agreement is a pact to reduce global carbon emissions and to keep global warming to under 2 degrees Celsius. This agreement undoubtedly marks a positive step forward and signifies an international recognition that climate change is a serious issue that needs to be addressed immediately.