Menendez, Booker, Democratic Senators Lead Effort to Achieve Net-Zero Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the U.S. by No Later Than 2050

Menendez, Booker, Democratic Senators Lead Effort to Achieve Net-Zero Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the U.S. by No Later Than 2050

The world’s leading scientists have warned that humanity must limit global warming to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius to avoid the most catastrophic impacts of climate change

  
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker (both D-N.J.) joined Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, and 31 other Democratic colleagues in introducing legislation that would put the United States on a path to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by no later than 2050.  This net-zero legislation is supported collectively by major environmental groups, business groups, and organized labor.

The world’s leading scientists have warned that humanity must limit global warming to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius to avoid the most catastrophic impacts of climate change. According to the United Nations annual Emissions Gap Report released last month, collective global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are not yet substantial enough to reach that temperature goal.

The Clean Economy Act heeds the call for bold climate action and at the same time boosts American competitiveness, promotes healthier frontline communities and fosters a growing economy that works for everyone. The Clean Economy Act directs the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to use existing authorities to put our country on a pathway to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by no later than 2050.

“There is no time to waste to reduce greenhouse emissions and get our country back on track to aggressively address the growing threat posed by climate change,” said Sen. Menendez. “The Clean Economy Act would do that by achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions no later than 2050. This bold, achievable plan would improve environmental quality and the public health of Americans by also significantly cutting emissions of smog, smoot and other dangerous pollutants. It’s time to restore American to leadership on this important challenge to our very existence, despite the Trump Administration’s abdication of its basic moral obligation to guarantee a livable planet for the generations to come.”

“The threat of climate change is one of the greatest challenges we face. Increasing temperatures and rising seas continue to adversely affect our economy, infrastructure, and public health, with communities of color disproportionally facing these environmental and economic impacts,” said Sen. Booker. “The Clean Economy Act takes an important step to address the threat of climate change in New Jersey and our nation by putting us on a path to meet net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by no later than 2050.”

Joining Sens. Menendez, Booker and Carper are Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Angus King (I-Maine), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore), and Patty Murray (D-Wash.).

By providing clear direction from Congress, the Clean Economy Act mandates EPA and other federal agencies to use authorities and tools already available to them to rapidly achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions while fostering a stronger, fairer economy for all Americans.

Any plan developed by the EPA must achieve rapid reductions at minimal costs, prioritize public health, and support a strong labor workforce. EPA is also required to build upon existing state, local and private climate programs and set greenhouse gas emission reduction targets for 2025, 2030 and 2040. Other federal agencies would be required to do their part to help the nation meet the net-zero goal and help enhance America’s global competitiveness through investments in research and development, innovation and equitable access to worker training.

The legislation is supported by United Steelworkers, Utility Workers Union of America, Service Employees International Union, American Federation of Teachers, American Rivers, BlueGreen Alliance, Center for American Progress, Clean Water Action, Climate Reality Project, Defend Our Future, Earthjustice, Environment America, Environmental Defense Fund, Green the Church, Hispanic Access Foundation, Interfaith Power & Light, League of Conservation Voters, Moms Clean Air Force, National Wildlife Federation, Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Sierra Club, among other organizations.

The full text of the bill can be downloaded here.

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