WASHINGTON— U.S. Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) joined 31 Senators 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.
“If we’re serious about combatting climate change, Congress needs to take immediate, concrete steps to lower greenhouse gas emissions. The Clean Economy Act will put us on a path to net-zero emissions by 2050, boosting the economy in the process. We have an opportunity to invest in new infrastructure and create an entire class of clean energy jobs, but we must act quickly,” said Murphy.
“Eliminating US greenhouse gas emissions is the boldest, biggest step we can take to stop climate change— and the Clean Economy Act provides a path,” said Blumenthal. “Empowering the EPA and supporting the green economy are key to reaching that goal by 2050. We don’t have another moment to waste in correcting course on the climate crisis. By focusing on public health and cost effectiveness, and supporting a strong labor force, we can boost economic development while preserving the planet.”
Cosponsors of the legislation also include Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), 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.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), 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.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore).
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:
Utility Workers Union of America
Service Employees International Union
American Federation of Teachers
Center for American Progress
Clean Water Action
Climate Reality Project
Defend Our Future
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
Trust for Public Land
Union of Concerned Scientists
Voices for Progress
World Wildlife Fund
Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments
American Lung Association
American Public Health Association
Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies (CERES)
A full text of the bill can be found here.