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June 10, 2019

King Backs Bill Urging Administration Meet Climate Standards Set by Paris Accord

BRUNSWICK, ME –Today, U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine), a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, announced his support of the International Climate Accountability Act. The legislation, introduced at the two year anniversary of the Trump Administration withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement, directs the United States to meet the standards established by the 2015 agreement and to mitigate the long-term damage caused by withdrawal from the international agreement. Specifically, the bill would require the United States to meet its nationally determined goals under the agreement– including an target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2025.

“The science is clear: climate change is real, its threats are serious, and its impacts are already being felt across the globe. The consequences of this phenomenon have already started to hit close to home, as the Gulf of Maine is warming faster than 99% of the world’s oceans. This is a crisis, and demands an urgent response from the United States that is also matched by the international community,” said Senator King. “The Paris Climate Agreement was an important step, which had the potential to be a turning point in the battle against this existential threat – but, as is far too common in the fight against climate change, a step forward was followed closely by a step back. The administration’s decision to leave the agreement was a massive mistake, on an issue where we do not have any room for error. America need to return to international leadership on this issue, not ignore the problem.”

A forceful advocate for clean energy solutions, Senator King is the lead sponsor on clean and efficient energy bills such as the Next Generation Grid Resources and Infrastructure Development (GRID) Act to encourage energy independence, foster innovation, and leverage federal resources to support a more resilient and modern electric grid. Last month in an Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing, Senator King highlighted the grave dangers posed by rapidly rising carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the atmosphere, and emphasized the importance of global collaboration in order to fully and effectively respond to the threats of climate change. In April, he published a column on Earth Day laying out the ambitious and attainable steps America must take to respond to the challenges of climate change. In February, Senator King questioned experts on opportunities to address the threat of climate change through clean energy alternatives and technology innovations, and asked witnesses why America left the Paris Climate Agreement. He strongly opposed the Administration’s decision to withdraw from the agreement.

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.

Text of the legislation can be found here.

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