Paris Agreement Vote is Modest Step Forward Amid a Growing Climate Change Catastrophe

Statement of David Arkush, Managing Director of Public Citizen’s Climate Program

Note: Today the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 9, which reaffirms the U.S. commitment to the Paris Agreement and requires the president to draft a plan for the U.S. to meet its Paris targets.

Some of today’s climate activists were in diapers the last time a climate bill passed a chamber of Congress, so the passage of H.R. 9 is both welcome and long overdue. However, it’s only a modest first step, far short of what’s needed to prevent global catastrophe, but that won’t make it any more palatable to the Republican-controlled Senate or the Denier-in-Chief in the White House.

House Democrats, and even some Republicans, are right to push forward anyway, both to keep public attention on the climate crisis and to put pressure on politicians who are bent on enriching the fossil-fuel industry at the expense of humanity’s present and future.

Because of increasingly common extreme weather events and reinvigorated activism, Americans know about the urgency and severity of the climate crisis, know that there are common sense solutions at hand and want action from the government.

Climate activists, and the public as a whole, must keep up the pressure on Washington to act on long-term climate change solutions. Humanity depends on it.