Pallone Says U.S. Still Playing Leadership Role at Climate Conference
Washington, DC – Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) joined a bicameral Congressional Delegation trip, led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (CA-12), to Madrid, Spain for the 2019 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, known as COP25. At the conference, he said the U.S. is still playing a leadership role.
“We are here to tell the world that the United States is still committed to combating climate change with bold and aggressive action. President Trump’s shortsighted and reckless decision to begin the withdrawal of the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement will have grave consequences. The bottom line is the countries that are out front on climate action will benefit the most in terms of innovation, job creation and economic growth. It would be foolish for the United States not to take the lead,” Pallone said.
Pallone is spearheading an effort in the Energy and Commerce Committee to draft legislation with the goal of achieving a 100 percent clean economy by 2050. This plan is consistent with the global scientific community’s consensus that meeting this target is necessary to avoid the most catastrophic effects of the climate crisis. This week, the Committee will hold its seventh hearing on its goal of “100 by 50,” and Pallone hopes to have his proposal ready by the end of this year.
“I felt very empowered when I heard from the U.N. Secretary General about what we can do, and I believe that we are moving forward with a commitment by the House of Representatives to work together to combat the climate crisis,” Pallone said. “In the Energy and Commerce Committee, which I chair, we've passed a number of energy efficiency bills out of the Committee including legislation that provides grants to states so they can take efficiency action, and gives both them and town leaders the power to do more on a local level. I’ve also introduced the LIFT America Act, which would create a number of green initiatives in the context of a major infrastructure bill.”
The LIFT America Act includes investments in several key areas, including:
- Over $33 billion for clean energy, including $4 billion to upgrade the U.S. electric grid to accommodate more renewable energy and make it more resilient. It also includes $4 billion for the expansion of renewable energy use, including $2.25 billion for the installation of solar panels in low-income and underserved communities. LIFT America also includes $23 billion for energy efficiency efforts – namely retrofitting and weatherizing buildings, including schools and homes, to ensure they produce fewer carbon emissions – and funding the nationwide deployment of more clean energy fuels.
- $2.7 billion to spur the development of Smart Communities, including $850 million in technical assistance to help cities and counties integrate clean energy into their redevelopment efforts, and $1.4 billion to support the development of an electric vehicle (EV) charging network.
Pallone said COP25 was particularly important to coastal states, like New Jersey, because of its emphasis on the oceans.
“In my home state of New Jersey, the climate crisis has the potential to devastate our coastal communities. A recent report from the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change confirmed what many Americans are already experiencing – less productive oceans, rising sea levels and more frequent extreme weather events. I’m committed to working together to address ocean issues that are seriously undermining entire marine ecosystems, fresh water, fisheries and coastal economies,” Pallone concluded.
On Monday, December 2, Pallone participated in a press conference with the Congressional delegation. Video is available here.