Thursday, April 2, 2015

35 Senators and 84 Representatives Affirm Support for Emissions Target Obama Submitted to the UNFCC

On Tuesday, the White House submitted the US's 2025 emissions target to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in preparation for the climate talks in Paris later this year

The co-chairs of the Bicameral Task Force on Climate Change---Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Ben Cardin (D-MD), and Ed Markey (D-MA) and Representatives Chris Van Hollen (MD-08), Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), and Bobby Rush (IL-01)--led a group of 35 senators and 84 representatives today in a letter to President Obama affirming their support.

Here is the text of the letter:
March 31, 2015

Dear President Obama,

Thank you for your leadership in responding to the serious challenge of climate change. We applaud and support your Climate Action Plan, the joint announcement with China establishing ambitious carbon pollution reduction targets, and the national commitment to the Green Climate Fund. These actions are critical to protect Americans from the most dangerous effects of climate change.

Americans are already shouldering the costs of climate change, and these costs are getting worse. Climate change is driving more severe drought and wildfires in the West, larger and more frequent floods in the Midwest, and sea level rise and greater storm damage along our coasts. Vulnerable populations, like children with asthma and the elderly, are suffering from higher levels of smog in our cities and longer, more severe heat waves. Farmers and ranchers are struggling with crop and livestock losses from drought. Increasingly acidic oceans are harming shellfish populations and threatening fisheries. Communities are struggling to pay for infrastructure damaged by fires, more extreme storms, and coastal erosion.

One of the three pillars of the Climate Action Plan is to lead international efforts to address global climate change. As a nation that has contributed more than a quarter of all global carbon pollution, it is our responsibility to lead. As a nation already feeling the effects and costs of climate change, it is also in our national interest to do so. In order to solve the problem of climate change, it is essential that the United States has allies in cutting carbon pollution. As we have seen time and time again, other countries will join us, if America leads the way.

As the parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) prepare to meet at the end of the year, they have agreed that each nation will pledge to reduce its carbon pollution in an amount and manner to be determined by each nation and that puts the world on a strong trajectory to address climate change. Proactive engagement in these negotiations, backed up by domestic climate action, is the best way to protect our nation’s interests and ensure every country does its fair share.

The strong target announced by the United States, along with the reciprocal commitments from China and the European Union, sets the stage for a meaningful climate agreement this year. Because the U.S. and China are the largest two emitters of carbon pollution and together with the E.U. are collectively responsible for more than half of the world’s energy sector emissions, the recent commitments by our countries represent significant progress. This progress is strengthened by the recent U.S.-India commitment to work together to achieve a successful and ambitious global climate agreement this year. The United States’ pledge of $3 billion to the Green Climate Fund continues to demonstrate our history of partnering with the least developed countries to help them grow their economies in ways that take into account the impacts of climate change.
We stand ready to help you seize the opportunity to strengthen the global response to climate change. Your Administration has made significant progress in reducing U.S. emissions, including through improvements in vehicle fuel efficiency standards and other areas that are saving consumers and businesses money, reducing air pollution, creating jobs, and putting America back in control of our energy security. We applaud the Administration’s continued use of its existing authority to cut carbon pollution, in particular EPA’s standards to limit carbon pollution from power plants under the Clean Air Act, and your efforts under the UNFCC.

Thank you again for your leadership in fighting devastating climate change to protect American families today and for generations to come.
Here are the 35 senators who signed the letter: Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)
Michael Bennet (D-CO)
Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)
Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Barbara Boxer (D-CA)
Maria Cantwell (D-WA)
Ben Cardin (D-MD)
Tom Carper (D-DE)
Chris Coons (D-DE)
Dick Durbin (D-IL)
Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
Al Franken (D-MN)
Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Martin Heinrich (D-NM)
Mazie Hirono (D-HI)
Angus King (I-ME)
Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Pat Leahy (D-VT)
Ed Markey (D-MA)
Jeff Merkley (D-OR)
Barbara Mikulski (D-MD)
Chris Murphy (D-CT)
Patty Murray (D-WA)
Gary Peters (D-MI)
Jack Reed (D-RI)
Harry Reid (D-NV)
Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
Brian Schatz (D-HI)
Chuck Schumer (D-NY)
Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
Tom Udall (D-NM)
Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)
Ron Wyden (D-OR)
Here are the 11 that did not sign:
Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
Bob Casey (D-PA)
Joe Donnelly (D-IN)
Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND)
Tim Kaine (D-VA)
Joe Manchin (D-WV)
Claire McCaskill (D-MO)
Bob Menendez (D-NJ)
Bill Nelson (D-FL)
Jon Tester (D-MT)
Mark Warner (D-VA)
And here are the 84 House Democrats who signed:
Raul Grijalva (AZ-03)
Jared Huffman (CA-02)
John Garamendi (CA-03)
Mike Thompson (CA-05)
Doris Matsui (CA-06)
Jerry McNerney (CA-09)
Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11)
Nancy Pelosi (CA-12)
Barbara Lee (CA-13)
Jackie Speier (CA-14)
Eric Swalwell (CA-15)
Mike Honda (CA-17)
Anna Eshoo (CA-18)
Zoe Lofgren (CA-19)
Sam Farr (CA-20)
Lois Capps (CA-24)
Julia Brownley (CA-26)
Judy Chu (CA-27)
Adam Schiff (CA-28)
Ted Lieu (CA-33)
Mark Takano (CA-41)
Maxine Waters (CA-43)
Alan Lowenthal (CA-47)
Scott Peters (CA-52)
Susan Davis (CA-53)
Jared Huffman (CA-02)
Diana DeGette (CO-01)
Jared Polis (CO-02)
John Larson (CT-01)
Jim Himes (CT-04)
Elizabeth Esty (CT-05)
Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC)
Corrine Brown (FL-05)
Patrick Murphy (FL-18)
Alcee Hastings (FL-20)
Ted Deutch (FL-21)
Lois Frankel (FL-22)
Frederica Wilson (FL-24)
Mark Takai (HI-01)
Bobby Rush (IL-01)
Dan Lipinski (IL-03)
Luis Gutierrez (IL-04)
Mike Quigley (IL-05)
Jan Schakowsky (IL-09)
John Yarmuth (KY-03)
Katherine Clark (MA-05)
Seth Moulton (MA-06)
Bill Keating (MA-09)
John Sarbanes (MD-03)
Donna Edwards (MD-04)
Steny Hoyer (MD-05)
John Delaney (MD-06)
Chris Van Hollen (MD-08)
Chellie Pingree (ME-01)
John Conyers (MI-13)
Betty McCollum (MN-04)
Keith Ellison (MN-05)
Emanuel Cleaver (MO-05)
Ann McLane Kuster (NH-02)
Frank Pallone (NJ-06)
Steve Israel (NY-03)
Yvette Clarke (NY-09)
Jerry Nadler (NY-10)
Carolyn Maloney (NY-12)
Charles Rangel (NY-13)
Joe Crowley (NY-14)
Eliot Engel (NY-16)
Paul Tonko (NY-20)
Louise Slaughter (NY-25)
Earl Blumenauer (OR-03)
Pete DeFazio (OR-04)
Brendan Boyle (PA-13)
Matt Cartwright (PA-17)  
David Cicilline (RI-01)
Jim Langevin (RI-02)
Lloyd Doggett (TX-35)
Bobby Scott (VA-03)
Donald Beyer (VA-08)
Gerry Connolly (VA-11)
Pete Welch (VT)
Rick Larsen (WA-02)
Jim McDermott (WA-07)
Adam Smith (WA-09)
Mark Pocan (WI-02)

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