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Higgins Announces House Passage of Climate Action Now Act

May 2, 2019
Press Release
Legislation would commit United States to carbon reduction goals detailed in 2015 Paris Climate Accord

Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) announced House passage of H.R. 9, the Climate Action Now Act. H.R. 9 requires the United States to honor its commitment to cut carbon pollution outlined in the Paris Agreement, the international climate accord signed by nearly 200 countries around the world in 2015. It passed by a vote of 231-190, and was cosponsored by 224 Representatives, including Higgins. The bill is the culmination of more than 30 hearings in the House this year, which marked the first House of Representatives hearings on the critical issue in eight years.

 

Last October, the UN released a report that indicated that without significant action, the effects of climate change could constitute a crisis as early as 2040. This includes worsening wildfires, food shortages, coral bleaching, and rising sea levels. The American Lung Association has also conducted a study that grades the Ozone health of Erie County an F.

 

However, Niagara Falls and Erie County are among more the 280 American states, cities, and counties who have independently committed to support climate action and reduce emissions. A study by Yale University has found that Americans support remaining in the Paris Agreement by a more than 5-1 ratio, with New York at the highest level of support of any state in the country. 

 

On Tuesday, Congressman Higgins spoke from the floor of the House to discuss local environmental activism in Western New York as well as advocate for passage of the landmark legislation.

(To access video click above or go to: https://youtu.be/i9UBh8MKgbM)

On Earth Day and throughout last week, Congressman Higgins joined University at Buffalo students working to help local companies reduce their carbon footprint, celebrated Arbor Day with ReTree Western New York as they reached their goal of planting 30,000 trees in wake of the damage from the 2005 winter storm, and participated in the announcement of land protection efforts and greenspace enhancements with the Western New York Land Conservancy.

 

Higgins said upon passage of the Climate Action Now Act: “It’s time for our country to re-assert its leadership in the world on the urgent issue of combatting the effects of climate change. This bill takes much needed action to do just that by codifying our commitment to the goals outlined by the 2015 Paris Agreement.”

 

The H.R. 9 is supported by the League of Conservation Voters, the Sierra Club, World Wildlife Fund, Citizens’ Climate Lobby, the Public Health Institute, the National Medical Association, American Lung Association, American Public Health Association, and many other groups.