Ahead of COP26 Climate Change Conference, Schneider Leads Resolution with 142 House Democrats Reaffirming American Support for Combatting Global Climate Change

October 28, 2021
Press Release
Legislation reaffirms support for international cooperation to combat climate change

WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Brad Schneider (IL-10) led 142 original cosponsors in introducing a resolution expressing support for the upcoming 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, also known as COP26, as well as reaffirming American support for global cooperation in combatting climate change. The resolution was co-led with House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Greg Meeks and climate subcommittee Chairman William Keating.

 

“Climate change remains an existential threat to America’s national security, economy, and children,” said Schneider. “During this critical moment, effectively combatting climate change requires the collective efforts of the international community as a whole. Preventing the worst climate change scenarios is still possible, but requires the cooperation of the global community. As countries around the world meet in Glasgow in the coming days, our resolution sends a strong message that the U.S. House of Representatives stands ready to play our part towards combatting climate change.”

 

Schneider, a Member of the Ways and Means Committee and Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition, has introduced several pieces of legislation in the 117th Congress to address climate change in the United States: the Sustainable Skies Act would provide tax credits for use of sustainable aviation fuel, the only near-term mechanism for decarbonizing the aviation industry; the Greener Transportation for Communities Act would provide tax-free financing mechanisms for certain infrastructure projects to incorporate electric vehicle charging; and, the Onshore Wind American Manufacturing Act would provide tax incentives to expand the domestic onshore wind manufacturing supply chain. 

 

The following members joined as original cosponsors: Adams, Allred, Bass, Beatty, Beyer, Blumenauer, Blunt Rochester, Bonamici, Bowman, Boyle, Brown, Brownley, Cardenas, Carson, Cartwright, Case, Casten, Chu, Cicilline, Clark, Clarke, Cleaver, Cohen, Connolly, Cooper, Costa, Courtney, Crist, Davids, D.Davis, DeFazio, DeGette, DelBene, Demings, DeSaulnier, Deutch, Diaz Barragan, Dingell, Doggett, Doyle, Eshoo, Espaillat, Evans, Foster, Frankel, Gallego, J. Garcia, Grijalva, Hayes, B. Higgins, Himes, Holmes Norton, Horsford, Houlahan, Huffman, H.Johnson, Kaptur, R. Kelly, Khanna, Kilmer, Kind, Krishnamoorthi, Langevine, Larson, Lawrence, B. Lee, Leger Fernandez, A. Levin, M. Levin, Lieu, Lowenthal, Malinowski, C. Maloney, Manning, Matsui, McCollum, McEachin, McGovern, McNerney, Mfume, Moore, Moulton, Murphy, Nadler, Napolitano, Neguse, Newman, O'Halleran, Omar, Panetta, Perlmutter, S. Peters, Phillips, Pingree, Porter, Price, Quigley, Raskin, Rice, Ross, Ruppersberger, Rush, Sablan, Sanchez, Sarbanes, Schakowsky, Schiff, B. Scott, Sewell, Sherman, Sires, A. Smith, Spanberger, Speier, Stanton, Stevens, Strickland, Suozzi, Swalwell, Takano, B. Thompson, M. Thompson, Titus, Tonko, Torres, Vargas, Veasey, Velazquez, Wasserman Schultz, Watson Coleman, Welch, Wild, Williams, F. Wilson, Yarmuth

 

The resolution text is available below:

 

HOUSE RESOLUTION

Expressing support for the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow and reaffirming the United States’ commitment to international cooperation combatting climate change

 

Whereas global climate change is an immediate threat to the United States national security, public health, national economy, and the legacy we will leave to our children;

 

Whereas leaders of the world's religious communities recognize the grave threat to humanity posed by climate change and our moral obligation to protect the earth and its people publicly have called upon politicians, business leaders, and the faithful to take action to address climate change;

 

Whereas the most vulnerable communities, including communities of color, women, children, the elderly, persons with disabilities, low-income communities, and those with underlying health conditions, face even greater health risks as a result of climate change;

 

Whereas the United States is already seeing climate change exacerbate extreme weather events, with 2020 seeing the most active Atlantic hurricane season on record with 30 named storms and six major hurricanes, the 2019 issuance of the first-ever Extreme Red Flag Warning for wildfires, hundreds of thousands of acres in the Western U.S. currently or recently experiencing devastating wildfires, and communities around the country regularly facing ”100 Year Floods'';

 

Whereas there is expert-level consensus within the Federal Government, from the intelligence community and Department of Defense to the Department of Agriculture, Department of Transportation, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, that climate change is real, currently impacting the United States, and poses a dire threat to our well-being and national security if left unaddressed;

 

Whereas on November 23, 2018, the U.S. Global Change Research Program, a collaboration of thirteen Federal agencies, released Volume II of its Fourth National Climate Assessment outlining the impact climate change will have on human and societal welfare, increased major severe weather events, adverse impacts on national infrastructure, and significant consequences for human health, in the face of Federal inaction towards combatting climate change;

 

Whereas on August 6, 2021, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its Working Group I report which found that, unless immediate and broad reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are made by the international community, it will be impossible to limit global warming to 2°C, the warming level which the scientific community believes will precipitate catastrophic climate-related consequences;

 

Whereas the IPCC Working Group I report found that continued global warming will cause increasingly intense rainfall, flooding, and droughts, sea levels rising and more severe coastal flooding, and further melting of glaciers and ice sheets;

 

Whereas on September 29, 2021, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service proposed the removal of 23 species from the Federal Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife due to extinction, listing climate change as a central variable driving the increased extinction of a variety of species;

 

Whereas on May 6, 2019, the United Nations Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) released its updated Global Assessment, which found that approximately one million species, 1 in 4, are at risk of extinction as a direct result of climate change;

 

Whereas the United Nations Secretary-General António Gonzalez stated that the IPCC Working Group I report is a “code red for humanity... [G]reenhouse-gas emissions from fossil-fuel burning and deforestation are choking our planet and putting billions of people at immediate risk,” and that “[g]reenhouse gas concentrations are at record levels. Extreme weather and climate disasters are increasing in frequency and intensity. That is why this year’s United Nations climate conference in Glasgow is so important”;

 

Whereas the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) Emissions Gap Report 2020, released in December 2020, highlighted that, while the COVID-19 has caused a slight reduction in carbon emissions, reductions targets will not be met “unless countries pursue an economic recovery that incorporates strong decarbonization,” and that “[i]t is not too late to seize future opportunities” in order for emissions reduction targets under the Paris Agreement to be met;

 

Whereas the UNEP Emissions Gap Report 2020 also highlights the important role of nature-based solutions such as large-scale landscape restoration and reforestation, both in the U.S. and around the world, in order to meet the climate goals of Paris Agreement; 

 

Whereas the United Nations Program on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation 2020 Annual Report highlights the critical role of continued and sustained reduction in deforestation and forest degradation around the world, the difficulties the COVID-19 pandemic has presented in slowing deforestation, and the central role that this effort has in combatting climate change; 

 

Whereas in September 2021, the U.S. Department of Defense released its Climate Adaptation Plan highlighting climate change’s significant threat to American national security and identifying ways climate change impacts the United States’ defense posture, including climate-related vulnerabilities of American defense installations, the role of climate change as a threat multiplier driving regional conflict, the potential for disruptions in the defense supply chain, and substantial ongoing operational challenges due to climate change;

 

Whereas in September 2021, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security released its Climate Action Plan addressing climate change’s impact on domestic security, identifying the potential for weather events to disrupt emergency communications infrastructure, the expected increasing of severe domestic weather events driving loss of life and property while straining federal resources, and the potential for climate-related phenomenon to drive regional migration;

 

Whereas investing in energy efficiency and clean energy technologies is an extraordinary job creation opportunity for the United States that already employs more than 3 million people, with solar and wind technicians being among the fastest-growing jobs in the entire United States economy;

 

Whereas the United States can lead the world in innovation and manufacturing clean energy technologies, creating good-paying jobs, modernizing the energy grid, and growing new companies that will be the titans of a new clean energy economy;

 

Whereas the number of domestic clean energy jobs continue to be among the fastest growing occupations despite a temporary setback from COVID-19 pandemic;

 

Whereas President Joseph R. Biden announced his intent to rejoin the Paris Agreement on January 20, 2021, reaffirming the United States’ commitment to fight against climate change and to collectively work with the international community towards that goal;

 

Whereas the Paris Agreement is an international accord that aims to limit the increase in global temperatures to less than two degrees Celsius and urges efforts to limit the increase to one and a half degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels;

 

Whereas the Paris Agreement highlights the importance of environmental justice and equity in our climate solutions, particularly in light of the impact climate change is expected to have on vulnerable communities around the globe;

 

Whereas 195 parties are signatories and 191 are officially party to the Paris Agreement, including the largest emitters of carbon pollution, China, the European Union, and India;

 

Whereas the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) is scheduled to be held in Glasgow, Scotland between October 31 and November 12 2021;

 

Whereas the goals of COP26 are to (1) Secure global net-zero by 2050 and work together to ensure the 1.5°C global warming threshold is not exceeded; (2) facilitate all countries to protect and restore ecosystems already impacted by climate change, and to enhance our resiliency and adaptation towards the future expected impacts of climate change; (3) work to ensure international financial contributions toward climate are mobilized; and, (4) work to finalize the Paris rulebook to make the Paris Agreement operational and work to accelerate global action on climate through mobilization of government, businesses and civil society;

 

Whereas the United States, historically as one of the world's top emitters of carbon pollution, has an obligation to actively participate in global efforts to curb climate change; and,

 

Now, therefore, be it

    Resolved, That the House of Representatives—

 

  1. applauds the Biden Administration for reaffirming U.S. commitment to the Paris Agreement specifically and to our collective responsibility to globally combat climate change;

 

  1. Encourages the Administration to implement specific measures to ensure global climate change remains a top priority for this and future administrations and to cement the U.S. as a global leader in the fight to mitigate its most severe consequences;

 

  1. voices our strong commitment as legislators towards achieving the climate goals of the Paris Agreement, fulfilling the forthcoming pledges from the COP26 in Glasgow, and advancing other international efforts to keep global warming to no more than 1.5°C and realize global net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 using a whole-of-government approach;

 

  1. recognizes the critical responsibility of the U.S. and other developed nations to ensure all societies have the capabilities to transition to a clean energy economy, the resources to protect against climate-induced disasters, and the necessary assistance to endure climate-related challenges to food security, regional migration, and public health.

 

 

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