Rep. Tonko looks forward to Climate Change Conference, COP21
Rep. Paul Tonko (NY-20) spoke on the floor of the House of Representatives in support of an international climate change agreement in Paris next month.
I rise today to express my support and optimism for the U.N. Climate Change Conference, or COP 21, which will be held in Paris next month. In advance of the negotiations, 146 parties submitted Intended Nationally Determined Contributions, laying out the actions they intend to take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These pledges cover 86% of global emissions. We have seen major commitments from the U.S., the E.U., China, and other major developing nations. We have also seen incredible support from the private sector. Many companies, including dozens of Fortune 500 companies, have made commitments through the American Business Act on Climate Pledge. Many businesses recognize that acting on climate change is not only the morally right thing to do, but the economically right thing, too. An agreement in Paris would be an incredible first step that could be built upon with even more ambitious goals in the coming years. Because the bottom line is climate change is too big to tackle alone. We need global cooperation—from governments and businesses. And the U.S. must be a leader, demanding bold action to take on the very real threats we face. An agreement in Paris is good for our national security, our economy, and our environment. I wish good luck to our negotiating team, and I yield back the balance of my time.