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On 4th Anniversary of Paris Accord Signing, Pingree Decries 220 days of Senate Inaction on H.R. 9

Washington, December 12, 2019

Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) released the following statement on the fourth anniversary of President Obama signing the international Paris Agreement on Climate Change on December 12, 2015:

More than 220 days ago, the House approved H.R. 9 to recommit the United States to the Paris Climate Agreement and require the Trump administration to develop a serious plan for how our country will address climate change. It’s outrageous that this legislation is one of 400 bills stalled in the U.S. Senate. Congress must look beyond petty politics and face the reality of the climate emergency we’re in.

Maine is already grappling with the widespread effects of climate change. Sea levels are rising. Weather patterns are unpredictable. Our ocean is acidifying. The Gulf of Maine is warming 99% faster than anywhere else on the planet. The health and well-being of our state is on the line.

Four years after the U.S. joined the most visionary global climate change agreement to date, President Trump and Senator McConnell’s cowardice is jeopardizing our children’s futures. The Senate must take up H.R. 9 immediately and move to protect our planet.

The Paris Agreement, signed by President Obama, set to strengthen the global response to climate change by keeping an increase in global temperatures below 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. This agreement requires all signatories to report their emissions levels regularly so the UN can assess the collective progress to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions.

President Trump formally began the process of withdrawing from the agreement in November 2019, despite the fact that more than 1,000 businesses and nearly 200 nations are still in support of the commitment. These businesses included Adobe, BP, General Mills, Apple, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Google, Intel, Walmart, Facebook, Unilever, National Grid, Morgan Stanley, and Microsoft. Without bold, transformative action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, global temperatures will continue to rise, exposing an estimated 350 million people to drought and pushing 120 million people into extreme poverty by 2030.

Pingree has previously condemned the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw from the agreement. She was an original cosponsor of H.R. 9, the Climate Action Now Act, which would prohibit any federal funds from being used to take any action to advance the withdrawal of the U.S. from the landmark Paris Agreement and calls on the President to develop and make public a plan for how the United States will meet our commitment to reduce emissions. Pingree took to the floor of the House of Representatives on May 1, 2019 to deliver a speech in favor of its passage. The bill arrived in the Senate on May 6, 2019, where it has been ignored by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Pingree signed onto a resolution condemning Trump’s formal departure from the Paris Agreement.

Maine is experiencing major changes as a result of the climate crisis. The state has warmed about 3°F since 1900. Sea levels are rising and severe storms are increasing coastal flooding. Warming ocean waters have shifted lobster populations northward. The number of Lyme disease cases in Maine has increased twentyfold in less than 20 years.

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