Sen. Tom Carper, D-Delaware, top Democrat on the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, was joined by 32 Senators in introducing legislation Feb. 11 that would put the U.S. 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 to use existing authorities to put the country on a pathway to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by no later than 2050.
“This legislation would move our country to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions while also empowering American workers and uplifting our most vulnerable communities,” said Carper. “Climate change is the greatest and gravest threat to our planet. We can overcome the climate crisis, but to do that, we need all hands on deck — and we need to right the ship. The Clean Economy Act is one of the quickest ways we can jumpstart government-wide climate action. By using tools already at EPA’s disposal — tools that have been used under this administration to increase global warming pollution instead of decreasing it — we can take on the greatest threat to our planet in a way that grows our economy, supports a strong labor workforce and protects frontline communities.”
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 full text of the bill is available at bit.ly/2HgQ1CE; for a summary of the legislation and full list of supporters, visit bit.ly/31LWizJ.