WASHINGTON, DC–-(ENEWSPF)–July 7, 2015. Today, Representative Earl Blumenauer (OR-03) welcomed a new report by the Center for American Progress, titled “The Authority for U.S. Participation in the Paris Climate Agreement,” on the forthcoming U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) agreement to be finalized in Paris this December. The report, in part, relies on research requested by Representative Blumenauer that informs the report’s conclusion that the final Paris agreement could qualify as an executive agreement rather than a treaty. If the final agreement does not contain elements such as legally binding emissions reduction targets, the President would be well within his existing and well-established authority to pursue the agreement without the consent of the Senate.
“Fighting climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our generation. The Paris climate talks provide a historic opportunity to put in place a global agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across the world. The United States must be engaged in the process and demonstrate to the world it is committed to joining the fight against climate change,” said Representative Blumenauer. “This report establishes that, depending on the outcome of the negotiations, there could be both clear authority and well-established precedent for the President to pursue it as an executive agreement. This approach would not require approval from Congress, where those who deny climate science are determined to block any progress in addressing this challenge. This does not change the fact, however, that it is imperative that Congress pass legislation addressing climate change, even if this agreement doesn’t require congressional approval. The United States is a major contributor to global carbon pollution and should take action at all levels.”
Representative Blumenauer has a long history of leadership working to combat climate change. In 2007, he was appointed by Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi to serve on the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, where he served as vice-chair and attended the 2009 Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. He is co-chair of the Bicameral Task Force on Climate Change, a member of the Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition in the House and a member of the Safe Climate Caucus. Throughout Representative Blumenauer’s time in Congress, he has introduced numerous pieces of legislation that would impact climate change, including legislation to extend clean energy tax incentives and end needless tax breaks for giant oil companies, as well as draft legislation with Representative Henry Waxman, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and Senator Brian Schatz to put a price on carbon.