Rep. Pallone: ‘We’re Not Going to Withdraw from the Paris Agreement’

By Dimitri Simes | March 29, 2019 | 1:56pm EDT

( -- On March 27, House Democrats introduced H.R. 9, the Climate Action Now Act, which would forbid using federal funds “to take any actions to advance the withdrawal of the U.S. from the Paris Agreement” and would mandate President Donald Trump to submit a plan for meeting U.S. commitments under the U.N.-brokered accord.

Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, declared, “We’re not going to withdraw from the Paris Agreement.”


Speaking at Capitol Hill press conference on Wednesday alongside House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Pallone argued that President Trump’s 2017 announcement that the United States would leave the Paris Agreement undermined America’s international standing.

Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.)   (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

“The president doesn’t make any sense at all when he says he wants to withdraw from the Paris agreement, because all the other countries now take up that mantle of leadership that the United States had,” he said.

The New Jersey Democrat stated that the aim of H.R. 9 is to reverse that decision.

“Basically, what [H.R. 9] is saying is no, we are going to take the mantle of leadership. We’re not going to withdraw from the Paris Agreement.”

The United States signed the Paris Agreement along with 194 other nations in December 2015 and formally entered into the deal in November 2016. Under the Paris Agreement, parties to the treaty must make “nationally determined contributions” to prevent global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

The Obama administration made cutting emissions to 26-28 percent lower than 2005 levels by 2025 its nationally determined contribution.

In June 2017, President Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the agreement. However, the United States can officially exit the treaty only in November 2020 due to Article 28th of the Paris Agreement, which states that a country can leave the pact no sooner than four years after formally enacting it.

Former vice president and climate change activist Al Gore. (Photo by Lukas Schulze/Getty Images)

If passed, H.R. 9 would prevent the Trump administration from accessing federal funds to withdraw from the treaty.

The bill states, “Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no funds are authorized to be appropriated, obligated, or expended to take any action to advance the withdrawal of the United States from the Paris Agreement.”

Moreover, H.R. 9 would require President Trump to formulate a plan for implementing the United States’ obligations under the Paris Agreements.

“Not later than 120 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the President shall develop and submit to the appropriate congressional committees and make available to the public a plan for the United States to meet its nationally determined contribution under the Paris agreement,” reads H.R. 9.

 (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)

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