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Hirono, Schatz introduce act preventing U.S. withdrawal from Paris accord

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  • CRAIG T. KOJIMA / 2018

    U.S. Sens. Mazie Hirono, left, and Brian Schatz question FCC Commisioner Jessica Rosenworcel during a hearing in 2018.

U.S. Sens. Mazie K. Hirono and Brian Schatz are among more than 40 senators that introduced an act seeking to prevent the U.S. from withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement.

The International Climate Accountability Act would instead require the president to provide a plan describing how the U.S. would meet its nationally determined contribution to the Paris Climate Agreement, and to honor its commitment to combating climate change.

In June 2017, President Donald Trump announced plans to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement that world leaders had agreed to two years prior, a pact that would attempt to limit global temperature increases to well below 2 degrees Celsius.

A week after Trump’s withdrawal, Hawaii Gov. David Ige enacted legislation that aligned the state’s goals with the Paris climate accord.

“The president’s careless decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement will result in serious economic, social, and environmental consequences for communities across the country,” Hirono said in a news release. “In Hawaii we understand why it is important to malama, or take care of, our land, ocean, and air — our way of life depends on it. That is why Hawaii was the first state to pass legislation to uphold the agreement in the state…Our bill will ensure we remain prepared and willing to uphold our end of this vital deal. America must not abdicate its global leadership role in the climate crisis to countries like China.”

Under the terms of the Paris Agreement, President Trump cannot officially withdraw the U.S. until Nov. 4, 2020, according to the act. The agreement specifies that after joining, a country is unable to leave for three years, after which there is a one-year waiting period for the leave to fully take effect.

The U.S. legally entered into the agreement on Nov. 4, 2016.

In addition to Hirono and Schatz, the International Climate Accountability Act is cosponsored by Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and U.S. Sens, Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Angus King (I-Maine), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Doug Jones (D-Ala.), and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.).

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