PHOENIX — In March, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Climate Action Now Act, a bill that honors the U.S. commitment to the Paris Agreement signed in 2016 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 26 to 28 percent from 2005 levels by 2025.
Now, national environmental and conservation organizations are asking U.S. Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Martha McSally to rally the Senate and approve a Senate version of the bill.
Sandy Bahr, chapter director for Sierra Club’s Grand Canyon Chapter stated, “We are asking them to join the majority in the U.S. House and more than 3,700 American organizations and leaders to support climate action to meet the goals of the Paris agreement and to co-sponsor a bill in the U.S. Senate to do so. We have a climate crisis, including right here in Arizona, and we need strong leadership to address it at every level, including our two U.S. Senators.”
In addition to reducing greenhouse gases, the house bill prohibits any federal funds from being used to take any action to advance the withdrawal of the U.S. from the Paris Agreement. It also requires the president to develop a plan on how the U.S. will meet its emissions reductions targets.
The goal of the Paris Agreement agreement was to limit temperature rise by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, to provide a framework for transparency, accountability, and achievement of emissions-reduction targets and to provide support to developing countries to mitigate and adapt to climate change, added Bahr.
“Now, the Trump administration is seeking to have the United States withdraw from that agreement, despite strong support from business leaders, the military, scientists, the pope and a majority of the public in each state, including Arizona,” she lamented.
Laura Dent, Executive Director of Chispa Arizona, remarked, “Latinos and people of color are disproportionately impacted by climate change and air pollution, we require action to address the climate crisis. The passage of the Paris Agreement was an important step internationally to combat climate change, and the United States should not shirk its responsibilities. The House’s passage of the Climate Action Now Act ensures we uphold our responsibility to combat climate change. Our senators should show their support for Arizonans and support it.”
Coral Evans, Mayor of Flagstaff, agrees with the effort to address climate change. “Northern Arizona’s economy and small businesses rely on access to our beautiful natural lands. I support federal action to reduce emissions, thereby mitigating the risk of catastrophic fire, safeguarding our water supply, and helping to preserve the natural beauty of northern Arizona for generations to come.”
Tempe Vice Mayor Lauren Kuby said, “There is much we can do as individuals, as cities, businesses and local, regional, state and federal governments. If cities are responsible for 70 percent of global carbon emissions, then we need to step up, independent of the federal government and reduce these emissions. That’s why my city has adopted a 100 percent renewable energy goal for our city operations. Cities in the U.S. are on the frontlines of global climate emergency and must fight to protect our most vulnerable residents, who are most impacted by the climate crisis.”
For more information on the House bill, visit: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/votes/116-2019/h184.